In total, $122 million dollars of tennis racquets were bought wholesale in 2021, the highest recorded figure ever and a 46% rise compared to 2020.
The striking figures reflect both a rise in average price per racquet and an increase in the number of total tennis racquets purchased. In fact, unit sales were the highest since 2010.
The numbers don’t just reflect a slowdown in pandemic buying either. Against 2019, both unit sales and dollar sales soared by just under 50%.
The tennis industry achieved this despite a slight year-on-year drop in sales in Q4
Unit sales of tennis balls did decline slightly, partly due to supply chain issues and more pressure on leisure time as many people returned (partly or fully) to pre-pandemic commuting and working practices. However, thanks to a slight rise in average sale price, the dollar value of tennis balls climbed slightly.
Sales of tennis strings also rebounded strongly, finishing a third up in terms of value compared to 2020 and 26% up on 2019. That took total unit sales to levels not seen since 2016, and, even more promisingly, 2021 enjoyed the highest dollar sales since 2010.
Adam Hile, who leads the tennis shipment program at Sports Marketing Surveys, commented. “It’s incredibly pleasing to see such strong year end results. We knew that the comparison to Q4 2020 was likely to prove challenging, as many retailers delayed purchases, resulting in a strong end to the year. 2021 saw the industry not just return back to more normal patterns but exceed them through the first 9 months of the year before coming close to achieving parity in Q4. Ensuring that retailers have quick, affordable access to the racquets, balls and strings tennis players want is key as we move into 2022.”
The results come from the U.S Tennis wholesale shipment report prepared by Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) on behalf of the Tennis Industry Association and its members.
The Tennis Industry Association, originally founded in 1974 as the American Tennis Federation, has been serving the “business of tennis” for over 40 years! Today, TIA is the only trade organization representing all facets of the tennis industry, providing research, collaboration and advocacy to advance the economic vitality of the sport. For more information, visit, www.tennisindustry.org/