A new kid-friendly approach to tennis that hopes to inspire the next generation of young tennis players will be launched at the US Open.
The revolutionary new brand, Net Generation, will provide American tennis with one unified youth brand for children to get into the sport, making it easier for children and their parents to learn about tennis and get into the game in schools, parks and tennis clubs across the country.
The movement embraces all aspects of youth play for kids ages 5-18. The official Net Generation launch will take place at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Aug. 26.
“Net Generation is a bold approach to empower kids to play the game while elevating and setting new standards on how we deliver and engage children in our sport,” said Craig Morris, General Manager, USTA Community Tennis and Youth Tennis. “These efforts will make a lasting impact to help drive youth participation throughout the country. There is no bigger and better stage than the US Open to launch the brand.”
The objective of Net Generation is to provide a safe connection to the sport, as well as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression. To ensure a safe environment, all Net Generation providers – including coaches, teachers, players and volunteers – must first go through a Safe Play Program, which involves a three-step process, including a background check, by registering on NetGeneration.com.
With the USTA’s focus on childhood safety, this system will be the first of its kind in the sports landscape to require all providers to submit to a comprehensive screening and education program.
“It is essential to implement the best infrastructure and environment for the current and future generation of kids,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. “Net Generation will help further our commitment to encouraging healthy lifestyles and bringing more children into the game by reaching kids and parents in a dynamic and easier way than ever before.”
In addition to the official launch at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Powered by Net Generation, the brand will have a significant presence leading up to and at this years’ US Open.
Net Generation has been integrated at US Open Series events throughout the summer, including at kids’ days, high school days, family days and festivals to encourage more kids and families to join the sport.
Net Generation will have a dedicated kids’ zone at the US Open Experience at the Seaport District NYC on Aug. 24-25, and a Net Generation Arcade near the Grandstand at the US Open aims to reinvent the retro classic 80s video arcade games with a tennis twist.
Also at the US Open, kids will receive their own Wildcard Activity Book that will serve as every child’s guide to Net Generation, including a roadmap, activities and pages for autographs, and the Fan Court at the US Open American Express Fan Experience in the Chase Center will include on-court activities, clinics and games.
In addition, the USTA will enlist 32 social media brand influencers, “Netset Ambassadors.” who are ages 5-18 with a strong social media presence, to showcase Net Generation through their views. The ambassadors will create content promoting the brand to their social media followings.
In addition to serving as Netset Ambassadors, three lucky influencers have been selected to serve as “kidcasters” who will give followers a behind-the-scenes look at the US Open.
The USTA has a longstanding commitment to encouraging healthy and active lifestyles among children. Over the last decade, youth tennis has brought hundreds of thousands of kids into the sport by using shorter courts, lower-bouncing balls and lighter racquets to allow them to play more quickly and easily.
To further evolve these efforts, the USTA will be working closely with schools and school districts by providing equipment, trainings and resources for teachers. The USTA has developed a new schools tennis curriculum and will encourage schools to have a community partner to help kids find a tennis facility to play after school in partnership with SHAPE America.
Furthermore, Net Generation will activate throughout all competitive levels including youth tennis, team tennis and junior competition. By setting new standards and collaborating with programs across the board, these efforts will help unite the tennis industry by sharing the same mission to get more kids playing tennis.
For more information, please visit NetGeneration.com