For Newport, RI resident Bob Milligan it all started with bad knees. He knew he needed surgery after playing tennis for decades, and tried to find more information that was both age-relevant and insightful. No such luck. He found the information available to be “fragmented at best, and generally disappointing.” Bob and his wife Lace wanted more. An idea was born. What if there was an organization providing all that information to older adult and senior tennis players, in a comfortable environment, like a virtual club house with many different rooms? And what if there were experts available willing to share their specific knowledge, and let members access rich and original expert commentary on topics that have a positive impact on their enjoyment of both tennis and life itself? The Milligan’s created BoomerTennis in 2010 and secured the active support of 6 big legends of tennis: Stan Smith, Charlie Pasarell, Tony Trabert, Cliff Drysdale, Butch Buchholz, and Donald Dell.
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After graduating from Yale College in 1972 with a B.S. in Administrative Science, Bob has over the past 38 years served on the boards of dozens of both private and public companies. Prior to founding BoomerTennis.Net, he had been a financial and corporate strategist responsible for the inception, growth, management and eventual sale or public offering of companies ranging in size from $1 million to several billion dollars. He has stepped into the role of interim CEO in several industries including biotechnology, insurance distribution and energy.
Having grown up in a golfing family, Bob didn’t take up the game of tennis seriously until the age of 30 and now, at the age of 60, plays two or three times a week, was a member of a National Championship USTA team, participates in both USTA age group tournaments and on a Senior 4.5 USTA Team, and recently, with his wife, Lace, won the Combined Age 100 National Husband-Wife Championships held at the ATP Headquarters in Ponte Vedra, Fla.
As an experienced tennis teaching professional and coach Lace Milligan is able to deal effectively with a broad base of students, from youth through the elderly, and beginner to expert. Specializing in creating a positive environment for learning through encouragement and diversity in methods, she is particularly adept at assessing a player’s needs and developing an appropriate program to maximize results within a flexible and comfortable environment.
Lace has a proven track record of exceptional interpersonal skills resulting in satisfied and enthusiastic students. Her ability to coordinate nutrition, fitness and instruction into an integrated training regimen makes her a diligent and successful role model for efficient training and nutrition principles.
On the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI since 2004, Lace has served on the HoF Museum Committee, as well as the Education and Marketing Sub-Committees. She is also a Professional Tennis Registry certified tennis teaching professional at the Casino Lawn & Tennis Club in Newport. In the 1990ies, Lace coached varsity High School Tennis and was voted “Coach of the Year” at Hayfield High School in Alexandria, VA (1995 and 1996).
Bob Milligan states that BoomerTennis.Net has become the perfect vehicle to combine his extensive entrepreneurial business background with his passion for tennis. He says, “Our Mission is simply to provide our members with age-relevant, insightful information in the areas of Orthopedics, Psychology, Nutrition, Physical Therapy/Training, Travel and Instruction through a staff of experts in each field. In addition, we strive to provide our members with a platform to interact with these experts and fellow members through feedback, blogs and an active social network.”
Bob also acknowledges that Baby Boomers are members of the most powerful economic demographic group and thus wield significant consumer power. “Recognizing this, we endeavor to provide our members with meaningful discounts on products they routinely use. The savings in patronizing our partner vendors can result in hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year.”One of the more significant immediate savings is being provided by Nestle Water, a company trying to utilize BoomerTennis to contact to one of their most interesting demographics, health conscious people over the age of 50. Every time a tennis player signs up for a 12 month delivery contract for Nestle Water, the company not only provides significant savings but also pays for a one year membership in BoomerTennis.
Other savings include air travel, tennis vacations, and spa hydrotherapy equipment. Sponsors also enable Bob Milligan to keep the BoomerTennis web site commercial free, so the real interesting content for adult tennis players can stand out. He says, “We hope you find the environment we have created in the clubhouse warm, inviting, friendly and informative. Please enjoy your stay and come back often!”.
One more way of giving BoomerTennis members value for their patronage are regular tennis events as they are being planned right now in Southern California. The first and inaugural event is the weekend of Nov 19+20 at the Coto Valley Country Club in Orange County. The event includes Brunch with Vic Braden, plenty of on-court tennis match play, wine tasting, dinner, and socializing with like minded people of similar age in a fun tennis atmosphere.
It seems that BoomerTennis is the only organization of its kind catering exclusively to the older adult tennis player. According to the 6 tennis legends supporting BoomerTennis, this market is wide open and has a lot of potential because of the red hot demographics. BoomerTennis advisor Charlie Pasarell puts it in simple terms:”We are targeting a segment of the tennis playing population no one is really focusing on: Baby Boomers. Servicing that population will be very successful.” As an extension of Bob’s work, Charlie is thinking about providing a series of organized events, like a circuit for BoomerTennis players. “This should be a lot of fun. It gives people an opportunity to travel, compete on the tennis court, and socialize.”
Are you a baby boomer who plays tennis? What are your particular challenges and where do you see a need for information?
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