Demographics - Tennis Enthusiasts
Most of the recently published demographic information available publicly was related to tennis players as a whole and not specific to tennis enthusiasts or core players. The only publicly available demographic data on core tennis players in the United States was from 2014; more recent reports (2018 data) from industry bodies provide demographic data for tennis players as a whole. Below, we have presented demographic data for both core players and tennis players in general.
- In 2018, 26% of tennis players were under the age of 18, 40% were over the age of 35, and 34% (100%-40%-26%) were aged 18 to 35.
- In 2014, the average age of a 6+ core tennis player is 33.9 years, and the average age of the 18+ core tennis player was 40.5 years.
- Adult core players segmented by age (2014):
- According to the Tennis Industry Magazine, 44% of frequent tennis players-- those who play 21+ times a year--are over the age of 45.
- According to Statista, among those who played regularly, 18.61% were aged 18-29, 24.43% were 30-49 years, and 4.92% were 50-64. Most of the remaining 52.04% (100%-18.61%-24.43%-4.92%) are under 18 years.
- The USTA creates leagues and programs for the 18-39 year age segment. It sees millennials as a key demographic for growth.
- According to the "2009 USTA/TIA Participation Study", the participation rate among 12-17 yr. olds (20.51 %) and 18‐24 yr. olds (18.44%) was the highest across all age segments. The latest USTA/TIA Participation Study is behind a paywall.
- In 2014, female core tennis players outnumbered male core tennis players; 52% of core players were female and 48% were female.
- In 2018, 55% of all tennis players were male and 45% were female.
When They Started Playing
- The starting age of core tennis players was not found.
- Kids can start playing tennis as early as 4 years. Any age between 5-9 years is ideal as they can learn quickly around the middle of their childhood. The average starting age of great players is 6 years.
- In 2014, the median household income of an adult core tennis player was $78,749.
- Around two in five (41.7%) tennis players belong to households with incomes over $100,000. Two in three (59%) tennis players have household incomes of $75,000+, and three-quarters (75.9%) have $50,000+ incomes (2018).
Career & Education
- Career and Education related information on core tennis players was not available.
- Nearly half (49%) of tennis players at least have a college degree. As 24.7% of tennis players fall in the "Education Under 18's" category, it can be said that most tennis players are well-educated.
- A college degree makes it more likely that working-age tennis players do white-collar jobs, so does the fact that 59% of tennis players have household incomes greater than $75,000.
- Location-related information specific to core tennis players was not available.
- The Pacific (22.9%), South Atlantic (20.8%), East North Central (13.1%), Middle Atlantic (11.7%), and West South Central (10.7%) have the highest share of tennis players in the United States.
- The ethnicity of core tennis players in 2014: Caucasian (66%), Asian (11%), African Americans (11%), and Hispanic (9%).
- Caucasians account for 69.5% of the tennis player population; Hispanics 10.8%; Asians and Pacific Islanders make up 9.4%, and African Americans 8.9%.
- A recent report on the tennis industry and its segments (equipment) can be found here.
Most of the information we came across was related to tennis players as a whole. The Tennis Industry Association (TIA) classifies players as "casual tennis participants (1-10 times/year), regular tennis participants (11-20 times/year), and frequent tennis participants (21+ times/year)." In a Tennis Industry Magazine research report, frequent players were defined as those who played tennis 21-49 times a year and avid players were those played 50 or more times a year. As core players come closest to the definition of a tennis enthusiast, we focused our research on the demographics of the "core tennis player".
The Tennis Participation Report published by the TIA uses the Physical Activity Council Participation Study demographic data and does not provide any proprietary data on the core tennis player. The only publicly available report by TIA that contained core player demographic data was from 2015. The marketing-focused USTA reports also provide very limited demographic information.
Other than looking for readily available data in industry association and magazine websites, we also searched for consumer demographics of tennis equipment companies such as Wilson, Tourna, New Balance, and Travis Mathew. We specifically looked for marketing case studies and target audience-related information. This strategy was adopted as 93% of tennis equipment sales are made to core tennis players. However, the case studies we found did not provide any demographic data. Lastly, we looked for research reports on tennis equipment, but the overview of such reports did not provide enough granular level data.
Given the lack of publicly available information, we provided core tennis player demographic data from the 2015 State of the Industry report and the latest tennis player (overall) demographic data from the 2019 TIA Tennis Participation Report.