ANHAUSER BUSH, FRITO LAY, SUBWAY, LE BRON JAMES, ELI MANNING, AND THE DEMISE OF THE USTA
By Javier Palenque
Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs, and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Culture has been called “the way of life for an entire society.” As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, art, sports, etc.
Of course, in a connected society through the marvel of technology, the culture is now “social” which means being part of groups, interests, activities, and patterns of behavior. The reason I am writing this article is to show you, my frequent reader, that in the past year the press has been all but favorable for pickle-ball and nonexistent for tennis, and when culture icons and multi-million dollars companies support a given movement or sport, it means that the traction is for the sport of choice, in this case, pickle-ball. As some of you may know, the beer company Anheuser Bush just purchased a pickle-ball team as did Le Bron James, Tom Brady, and others, and the snack company Frito Lay (Pepsi) is promoting the sport along with Subway.
All this is of course great for pickle-ball which already has taken 50% of the small retail space in sporting goods, but also now pickle-ball is eating away the unused tennis courts. (This means to wake up USTA if it’s not clear still)
This is wonderful for pickle-ball but horrendous news for tennis and the USTA, whose leadership thinks that pickle-ball is no problem (see link) and whose current CEO for the past 12 years has tailored the US Open to Wall Street Types who do not play the sport, and made playing the game for the nation so absurdly expensive that no one plays ( that is why they hide participation numbers) and to top of the list of NO-NO’s that the board and executive embrace, the status quo has missed the technology wave, fails to understand the culture of the new country and appoints as CEO a person who knows nothing about tennis and whose accomplishments for the sport can be summarized in a few words: