With tennis and other racquet sports surging in popularity, Break the Love, a social sports platform that allows racquet sports enthusiasts of all levels to connect, learn, and play, is looking to open up access to New York City tennis courts to a wide range of people through a partnership with American Express.
Break the Love is an online platform that lets users search for clubs, find events, connect with other players, arrange lessons, and reserve courts in various locations around the country.
The campaign, which kicked off on August 10 and runs through September 13, offers complimentary access to 10,000 tennis and pickleball reservations at over 500 courts in the New York City area. Trisha Goyal, the founder and CEO of Break the Love, said the initiative is really about providing access to a younger generation of players, especially in areas where gaining court access to hone skills is hard to come by.
"I think a big thing is working with startups and tech companies like ourselves," Goyal told Cheddar News about partnering with cities to open up more courts. "A really good example of that is when you think about public campgrounds. Hipcamp was the first mover in that space, and they worked directly with park departments locally to get open data so it would be easier [for people] to find, book, and reserve campsites online." Hipcamp is an online service that allows people to reserve outdoor lodging and camping experiences.
While the partnership is centered around the U.S. Open, it draws attention to a real need to provide access to courts as more people participate in racquet sports. The U.S. Tennis Association reported that a study by the Physical Activity Council, which assesses more than 120 different sports and activities, found that more than 22.6 million people played tennis in 2021, up 27 percent compared to 2019 when 17.7 million people played.
Shiz Suzuki, the VP of global brand sponsorships and experiential marketing at American Express, said the partnership with Break the Love is timely as new fans show excitement in the sports.
"We've seen the demand for courts in NYC rise dramatically as tennis has surged in popularity among existing and new fans," she wrote in an email to Cheddar News. "With this demand in mind, we decided to partner with social sports platform Break the Love, to help make racquet sports of all kinds more accessible to fans across the greater NYC area."
Though the partnership is currently being promoted in New York City, Goyal told Cheddar that Break the Love wants to expand to more cities but did not reveal whether or not a plan was in motion.