The Evolution of Marketing Tennis Camps
By: Katie Steck
You know those “wow, look how far we’ve come moments”? Those moments that create feelings of clarity, direction, and renewed commitment? We all have them, but we can’t always predict when they’ll hit.
For me, it came about a month ago as I sat at my dining table preparing our next round of newsletters, for Cliff Drysdale Tennis (CDT) resorts and clubs across the globe, on my sixth anniversary with the organization. I thought back to those early days as a new coach at the Omni Amelia Island Resort under the direction of Scott Colebourne and Sal Barbaro – two of the most animated tennis pros and bosses I’m likely to ever know. Those two taught me everything they knew about reserving tennis travel for guests in Amelia Island. Overtime, overseeing adult tennis camps on the island became my main role.
Those early experiences have shaped the way we lead sales and marketing for our variety of adult and junior tennis experiences. For that, I am so grateful.
Our adult camp offerings have grown each year to include
· 3 Doubles Boot Camps
· 3 Ladies Retreats
· 2 Grand Slam offerings at Wimbledon and the US Open
· 2 Master 1000 events at Indian Wells and the Miami Open
· Tennis and Wine weekends
· Touring camps across the United States
· Custom tennis vacations offered at our 10 resort destinations worldwide
The growth of our offerings certainly did not happen overnight and not without a huge team effort. From our staff of coaches that lead exciting and engaging on court experiences at our resort destinations, to our marketing staff that design the marketing materials and advertise the experiences, to our clients that become family and travel again-and-again, CDT is leading the effort to expand the tennis travel industry. We continue to streamline the guest booking process in an attempt to make it easier for our guests to access our diverse, unique destinations across the world. Through innovation, leading technology, and embracing change, we have the ability to continue to grow, even in the midst of an international pandemic that has sidelined much of the travel industry.
I find immense joy in working with guests, especially those that choose to travel with us year-after-year, to create a truly individualized experience the whole family can enjoy. Building the relationships with our guests is the most rewarding part of what I do every day. For me, the process begins when I have a chance to listen and begin to visualize the memories they are creating when describing their “perfect” tennis vacation. From there, I work with everyone
from the tennis pros on-site to resort reservations to craft an experience that fits those memories and brings them into the CDT family.
This year has certainly not been the year that CDT – or anyone for that matter – anticipated in regard to sports or travel. However, our marketing team has proven to be resilient and innovative. We have evolved and revamped our tennis offerings to include staycations – a CDT experience, just closer to home – by adjusting the format of all of our camps to include safe play and the social distancing guidelines.
We continue to offer deep compassion for our guests needing to cancel or change their travel plans during this difficult time. We are making modifications with safety at the center of each decision, and we remain confident that we can continue to offer tennis vacations and world-class experiences in a safe manor. Most importantly, we look forward to continuing to grow the game on the courts again very soon.
As we dive deeper into the second half of 2020, I am grateful that CDT continues to be a place where our guests can relax, enjoy playing tennis, and spread the love of the game.