Reports & Insights

Rising racquet prices help tennis sustain momentum

Rising racquet prices help tennis sustain momentum

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Reports & Insights

Total wholesale racquet unit sales into the US market* grew by over 11% in the first three months of the year compared to Q1 2021. This marks the largest Q1 total since 2010.


At the same time, average racquet prices surged to record levels of $43.80. This, combined with growth in unit sales, contributed to the highest total dollar value of racquets shipped on record**.


It comes hot on the heels of a 2021 which saw $122 million dollars in full year racquet sales, the highest number ever.


Prices of balls have also risen, with all three categories of balls enjoying the highest average price on record.


That higher wholesale price of racquets and balls is good news for manufacturers, although it puts pressure on retailers to pass on cost increases to consumers. SMS’ retail audit of the tennis industry shows that sell-through prices are increasing, but that the rise has not dampened US consumers’ appetite for the category. Retail sales of racquets were at the highest level since 2012 in Q1 2022, while the dollar value of those sales was almost $23m, the highest Q1 total ever.


Perhaps, with inflation rising, consumers expect prices of leisure equipment to follow suit. It may also be that reduced expenditure during COVID-19 still means tennis players have extra spending power compared to previous years. Anecdotally, retailers are reporting more sales of pre-strung racquets, which would be a good way of increasing cost while also offering extra value to consumers and removing what, for some tennis players, becomes an agony of choice in selecting string pattern and materials as well as selecting a frame.


How this holds up as the cost of living rises is a key area to monitor through the summer.


Adam Hile, who leads the tennis shipment program for SMS, noted the challenge. “Congratulations to the tennis industry on another record breaking quarter. The average price of racquets has been suppressed in the industry for some time. In fact, compared to other sports, and given the amount of R&D that goes into racquet technology advances, tennis products have arguably been underpriced. Finding an equitable way to raise prices to more competitive levels while also supporting the growth and accessibility of tennis has been a chief concern for marketing teams across the industry. These results stand the industry in good stead for a challenging year.”




The results come from the U.S Tennis wholesale shipment report prepared by Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) on behalf of the Tennis Industry Association and its members.


The Tennis Industry Association, originally founded in 1974 as the American Tennis Federation, has been serving the “business of tennis” for over 40 years! Today, TIA is the only trade organization representing all facets of the tennis industry, providing research, collaboration and advocacy to advance the economic vitality of the sport. For more information, visit, 



*Sales include U.S. wholesale shipments (sell-in racquets sold from manufacturers to retailers/distributors etc.)

**Records go back to 2003.

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