SIGNA Sports United (SSU), a leading sports eCommerce and tech platform, has announced a binding agreement to acquire Tennis Express, a leading online tennis retailer in the United States. The closing of the acquisition is subject to certain conditions. Together with the acquisition of Midwest Sports that closed in April, SSU and its global leading tennis destination Tennis-Point have now established a leading online tennis platform in the U.S. The two acquisitions position Tennis-Point for accelerated growth and expands the reach of SSU’s platform for the benefit of brand partners and digital communities.
Tennis has experienced a surge in participation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United States Tennis Association (USTA), four million new players in the U.S. picked up a racquet for the first time in 2020, representing a 22 per cent increase in participation.
“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 under-served from an e-commerce and community engagement perspective,” said Stephan Zoll, CEO of SIGNA Sports United. “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.”
“We are glad to see SSU is expanding within the U.S. market so quickly. The scale of their tennis platform capabilities brings significant advantages to the entire ecosystem,” Said Hans-Martin Reh, Global General Manager – Racquet Sports for Wilson Sporting Goods.
Founded by Brad Blume and his partner based on a shared passion for tennis, Tennis Express started with a single physical store and has since grown into a speciality retailer serving customers nationwide with 90 per cent of its revenue coming from digital channels. Tennis Express’s 15,000 square foot experiential flagship superstore and warehouse in Houston, TX, includes a full-size indoor tennis court and has become a lighthouse destination for tennis enthusiasts across the state.
The acquisition of Tennis Express will complement the acquisition of Midwest Sports which was closed in April. Both businesses will leverage SSU’s platform for marketing, dynamic pricing, CRM and logistics.
“Tennis-Point has a long track record of growing tennis in Europe, which has made it the global #1 online tennis destination, and we intend to do the same in the U.S.,” said Sascha Beyer, future chairman & president Tennis-Point, North America. “Brad and his team have long championed grassroots tennis and have built a growing and profitable business around their passion. We look forward to working together to achieve these shared goals.”
Brad Blume, who has agreed to join the executive team of Tennis-Point as President Tennis Express, commented, “We founded Tennis Express with the vision to inspire players and support the tennis communities we serve. 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. Today is a proud day for the Tennis Express team.”
The ATP and Tennis-Point recently announced a multi-year partnership which sees the global online retail platform become the Official Racket Sports Products Retailer of the ATP Tour until 2025.