The Week at Wilson with Blair Rickers: December 7th

Hello Dealers,

Winter is here.  I hope everyone is gearing up for the holiday season.

It’s OFFICIAL – WILSON is the ball of the OTA

Wilson is back as the official ball of the OTA.  Along with our status as the official ball of Tennis Canada, any tournament you run should be using Wilson.   Any player who is aspiring for tournament play should be hitting the court with our ball.  In fact, to make it easy, everyone should be using Wilson Tennis balls, all the time!!!

If you are a club that runs tournaments, make sure your monthly bookings are increased to allow for tournament usage.

Booking Orders are Due NOW

I love working with all the dealers out there.  Please get your booking orders in ASAP so I will be around to work with you again in 2012.  THANKS for your help.

Hats the Way It Is

For the first time in a couple of years we have some tremendous ball caps for on court use.  Check out the new headwear on pages 74 and 75 in our brochure.  The Tour Cap is a solid standard ball cap, the Performance Cap comes in all white or black/white and is lightweight and breathable, perfect for those hot summer days.  The bucket hat is a great looking option for when you want kick it back old school style.


We have a wonderful line-up of bags for 2012 and we brought a few in early for Christmas.  If you need the perfect present for your tennis pals check out the Tour Nine, Six and Backpacks with your local retailers.  These red and white bags are perfect for the serious or casual player.

One and Five Out Early

In addition to the bags, we are also launching a couple of frames for pre-Christmas sales.  The ONE BLX is a 118 square inch rocket launcher for players with compact strokes wanting more power.  For players demanding a perfect blend of Power, Control and Comfort we have the FIVE BLX.  Utilizing Triad technology, the FIVE offers a softer feel and less vibration, your club level players will love it.

Back from the ‘Burgh

Cheryl and I spent last weekend in Pittsburgh, PA.  Our trip got off to a rough start when we were pulled over at the border for over an hour.  Apparently the computer still had me listed as “Resident Alien” status.  The border guards were afraid of me taking up permanent residence in the US.   After finger prints and a barrage of paperwork they let me go with a stern warning.  We were then able to make a quick and unsuccessful stop in Grove City, home of a huge outlet mall.  We arrived downtown in time for a late dinner of wings and nachos.  My body is starting to recover from going three days without fruits or vegetables (the chicken wings did come with a couple celery sticks).  Saturday morning we hit the Strip District for some souvenir shopping.  My first purchase was a breakfast bagel with steak, eggs, zucchini (hey, I did have some veggies), hot peppers and hot sauce.  It took an hour on the treadmill to work that meal out of my system.  The Strip is awesome, Steelers gear and food galore, all being sold by 320 pound men named Vinnie, Sal or Paulie.  Saturday afternoon brought more shopping at a local mall, again we were not that successful, and then it was back to the hotel for a run and swim.  We had a fun dinner with a friend of mine from high school.  His wife is very nice, but her politics would be to the right of Rush Limbaugh.  Cheryl gave me high marks for keeping my mouth shut.

Sunday morning I went out for a nice run around the city.  As I ran around Heinz Field the tailgaters were already getting into the spirit at 9:00 am with bacon and eggs on their grills and either orange juice or Yeungling in their glasses.  Cheryl and I walked over to the stadium around 11:00 and picked up our tickets from a very nice and helpful scalper.  We grabbed a burger at Jerome Bettis’ Grill 36 and then headed into the stadium.  The seats were not great, but the weather was beautiful and Steelers rocked the Bengals.  I would guess that 9 out of 10 people at the game were wearing jerseys.  Whether you are 10 or 90, you are sporting Steeler garb.  There are a lot of Big Ben #7’s, a few Harrision 92’s and you are starting to see a lot of Wallace #17, but I believe the most popular by far would be Troy Polamalu # 43.  Antonio Brown had a couple of spectacular plays, including a 60 yard punt return TD that broke the game wide open..  Hines Ward caught a pass to go over 12,000 yards receiving.  If he can grab 10 more passes this year he’ll hit a 1000 for his career, which should push him over the top for entry into the Hall of Fame.

I was actually a little hesitant to make the pilgrimage down to PA this year because I did not think we could possibly have as much fun as last year. I was wrong.

That is all for now. Have a great week.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.