The acquisition will expand SSU’s reach in the tennis category, which already includes its own destination Tennis-Point as well as another U.S.-based online tennis retailer — Midwest Sports — that the company acquired in April 2020. The Association of Tennis Professionals also recently named SSU’s Tennis-Point as the Official Racket Sports Products Retailer of the ATP Tour through 2025. Both Tennis Express and Midwest Sports will continue to operate as separate businesses and will leverage SSU’s platform for marketing, dynamic pricing, CRM and logistics.
“We see significant opportunity to replicate our successful European tennis platform strategy in the U.S. market, which is benefitting from a surge in participation yet remains fragmented and underserved from an ecommerce and community engagement perspective,” said Stephan Zoll, CEO of SIGNA Sports United in a statement. “Adding strong players like Tennis Express accelerates our U.S. expansion and opportunity to create value for SSU and the broader U.S. tennis ecosystem.”
Interest in tennis surged 22% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), with 4 million new players in the U.S. picking up a racquet for the first time in 2020.
Tennis Express was founded by Brad Blume and his partner in 2000. The retailer started with a single physical store and has since grown nationally via its digital channels, which now account for 90% of the company’s revenue. Tennis Express’s 15,000-square-foot experiential flagship superstore and warehouse in Houston includes a full-size indoor tennis court and has become a destination for tennis enthusiasts across the state. Blume will now join the executive team of Tennis-Point as President of Tennis Express.
“We founded Tennis Express with the vision to inspire players and support the tennis communities we serve,” said Blume in a statement. “I could not be more excited that we will be joining the world-class SSU and Tennis-Point teams to help fuel the realization of that vision.”