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Case Study: How The ITA Accelerates Tennis Alumni Through Careers, Engagement

"The mission of the ITA is to serve college tennis and help develop championship human beings on and off the court, which is why we are so excited about the early success of the College Tennis Alumni Network. A connected community of student-athletes and alumni provides endless opportunities for career and professional development, while creating more touch points with our sport."
- Dr. Timothy Russell, ITA CEO

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2,266 athletes joined the College Tennis Alumni Network in the first 5 months
  • Global membership achieved with members residing in 53 countries and all 50 U.S. states
  • 58% of athletes actively engaged in the network
  • 270% increase in Summer 2019 fundraising
  • 10,737 jobs posted within the network

 

CHALLENGE

As the governing body of college tennis, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) oversees men's and women's varsity tennis at all levels - NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, and Junior College. In addition to empowering coaches and advancing the sport of tennis, the ITA also administers activities involving nearly 20,000 varsity college student-athletes as well as provides resources to alumni, which includes more than 100,000 alum in the U.S. alone.

With this extensive base, the ITA recognized the need for an online community for college tennis athletes. In addition, the ITA was not able to fully engage with tennis athletes or provide a consistent delivery of services to support them after their playing days.

The ITA needed to evolve through technology in order to be more user-friendly and accessible, and while numerous social and professional networking platforms exist, they needed a technology partner who understood athlete habits and the transition to their post-sport career.

 

SOLUTION

The ITA partnered with Athlete Network to implement the College Tennis Alumni Network, a branded technology platform to organize, promote, and track the programs and services offered to current and former tennis student-athletes. Their goal focused on encouraging relationships among college tennis alumni, sharing benefits for athletes during and after their transition to life after sport, and keeping alumni connected to the sport of tennis throughout their lives. 

"Playing college tennis is a powerful shared experience, and the Alumni Network helps current and former players take advantage of this. Whether it is career development, finding a hitting partner, or social opportunities, the Alumni Network creates opportunities to connect. We are excited for the community to grow and evolve in ways that support student-athletes and college tennis."
 - Corey Pegram, Director of Partnerships, Alumni and Membership 

The College Tennis Alumni Network was launched in May 2019 with a personal invite link for tennis alumni to join the online engagement platform as well as social media updates and invites through influencers in the sport of tennis.

 

RESULTS

Within the first 5 months after launching, 2,266 tennis athletes joined the College Tennis Alumni Network. The demographics of those athletes has been even more diverse than expected with members residing in 53 countries and all 50 U.S. states, representing 644 colleges and universities. The data shows 66% of members graduated prior to 2017, 23% were recent college graduates, and 9% are current student-athletes and plan to graduate in the near future. Easily accessible data analytics also give athletic administrators insight to the organizations where athletes are employed, which resources they engage in, as well as other data points specific to the ITA.

Through the software, the ITA has increased communications to members as well as encouraged athletes to connect with each other. Exceeding all goals set by the ITA prior to launch, 58% of members actively engaged in the network and 2,702 athlete-to-athlete connections were made via the Athlete Directory within the platform. By re-connecting with former teammates and other school alums, the College Tennis Alumni Network continues to grow in membership.

Expanding on the online networking success, the ITA invited all NYC area members to an exclusive alumni event in August 2019. With over 85 RSVPs from alums, the NYC College Tennis Alumni event was a huge win. Currently, administrators are planning to launch future alumni events in multiple key markets including Atlanta, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and more.

In addition to increasing connections and communication, the ITA leveraged Athlete Network's existing career partners and services. Both current and former tennis athletes have access to 23 companies and organizations who are partnered with the ITA as well as Athlete Network's employer partners, all of which are intentionally hiring through the software. Among those organizations, 10,737 opportunities were posted in the first 5 months after launch, offering members a range of jobs, internships, study abroad, and graduate school programs across all industries and professional interests. In the same timeframe, 3,028 engagements with a career resource were tracked within the network.

The ITA has also seen dramatic ROI through the software. The network aided the ITA in producing a 270% increase in Summer 2019 fundraising compared to 2018. Additionallly, 51 ad hoc donations have been given by members through the software to support tennis alumni events and advance the sport of college tennis.

ITA fundraising
Want a quick snapshot of this study? View the Infographic.

For more information, visit www.athletenetwork.com/colleges-universities or request demo at www.athletenetwork.com/demo