THE FLORIDA SUPER SENIOR GRAND PRIX
The Florida Super Senior Grand Prix Circuit was originated over 25 years ago by the Super Senior, Inc. organization in conjunction with the Florida Tennis Association. The idea was to have a place for senior, 55 and over, tennis players to go in the winter and get some competition while enjoying a little warm weather. As Super Senior, Inc. represents male players from ages all the way to 85 and over, the circuit was named the Super Senior Grand Prix. Grand Prix was added to give it a little extra pizzazz and in some years bonus money or prizes have been awarded to the top finishers on the circuit. The circuit now attracts over 200 players per week and is organized by the USTA Florida Tennis Association with publicity support from Super Senior, Inc.
The SSGP Circuit is based primarily on the West Coast of Florida with the 2010 schedule set with nine tournaments located in Ft. Myers, Naples, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. There are also four tournaments in Boca Raton that are affiliated with the Circuit. The tournament sites include Country Clubs, Racquet Clubs and two of the events are at public parks. One attraction is for the club members, most of who are of a similar age, who enjoy watching high level senior tennis which gives them a little inspiration to keep playing and encourage their families to play.
While not enticing Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe, the circuit does attract top players from around the US and overseas. Many International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Champions play on the circuit on a regular basis. Last year the circuit attracted Peter Adrigan from Germany, the #1 player in the World for men’s 65’s.
Although the players do not expect to earn much in prize money, the goal of the circuit is to reward the top players with enough prize money to help defray expenses. Naturally, the higher the level of prize money, the more top players are attracted to the tournaments, and draw sizes may increase.
It is the goal of the circuit to attract sponsors to contribute to the prize money. The circuit does attract modest crowds and generates local press and TV publicity. It has a large following of dedicated tennis players and their families who are much more loyal to sponsors. It is primarily a middle-to-upper income level demographic of active senior adults.
Comcast has agreed to create a TV spot, with our and the sponsor’s input, which will be aired a few weeks prior to each event in the markets of Naples/Ft. Myers/Cape Coral (270,000 homes) and Sarasota (180,000 homes). The spot will run hundreds of times in all time segments on channels like ESPN, CNN, USA & TNT. A summary of where and when the spots ran will be provided after the circuit finishes. It is estimated that the value of this TV exposure would be between $10,000 and $20,000 if an advertiser were to purchase the commercial time.