The company helps all different parts of the tennis ecosystem, from players to pros to brands
When I was young, the sport everyone played was basketball, mainly because all you needed to play was a ball and a hoop. You could have a friend, or you could be alone, but either way, you could still have a good time. If you wanted to play other sports, like baseball for example, you needed a lot more equipment and a lot more people.
The same would be true for a sport like tennis, which requires at least one other person, and access to a court. Players may encounter issues such as time, location, similar level players and prices, if they want to play.
This is what Trisha Goyal found when she moved to a new city and this is why she decided to found Break the Love, a platform designed to break down the barriers people face when they want to play tennis. doing all the planning and booking for the tennis players. . On Thursday, the company announced a $ 2.5 million funding round led by the Lake Nona Fund backed by major technology partners in sports and health and the Tavistock Group.
“Maybe it’s because they have friends of a similar skill level but their schedule doesn’t work with yours or you have access to courts but no one to play with or you are charged on a tennis club traditional brick and mortar that has an exorbitant entry fee so you just get back to running or cycling instead of playing tennis, “she told me.
“Our solution to removing these barriers is to provide a one-stop-shop online for players to discover fields, players and directions through a combination of discoverable content and a social network to connect with players to get out and about. to play through public and private courts without having to pay exorbitant membership fees in a flexible manner. “
Launched in 2019, Break the Love connects all the different parts of the tennis ecosystem in one app, including players, professional athletes, courts and brands.
Players, for example, come to Break the Love to learn from its content, find a pro, find other players, or find locations for their own groups of friends. They can purchase a Pass, which will give them access to four 90-minute lessons or tournaments over a three-month period. Players can also join a Club, which is recurring, having at least one class or competition per month.
Break the Love offers several different types of classes, which typically accommodate six to eight people, as well as one of the Break the Love’s Break athletes; Class formats can include Liveball, which is a fast-paced doubles game with no serve or return for 90 minutes, and Drill & HIIT, a 90-minute cardio-based class.
“We believe in defending athletes so the way we do it is to allow our players to come out and play using our tools or organize their own groups using our tools through our captains program,” he said. Goyal explained.
“We like to say that we are building a club by players for players. However, what happens in the process is that when people organize and play through our platform, we are able to help monetize more or use underutilized pitches which helps preserve the very infrastructure that allows the sport to thrive and we are able to provide more accessible ways to play through brand sponsorship experiences creating a more accessible experience for players. ”
In addition to players, the company also works captains and professionals, as well as courts and brands including Wilson, the United States Tennis Association, Foot Locker and Tory Sport.
Courts use Break the Love because they need help monetizing their courts and / or making better use of their courts in public parks, schools, universities, clubs and residences, while brands come into the business to activate their product or gain notoriety. with a targeted group of players. Because Break the Love is only for tennis players, brands can create a deeper engagement than they could on a platform like Facebook, Goyal explained.
The company’s latest round of funding brings its total raised to $ 3 million. Other investors included Antler Ventures, Red Giraffe Advisors and Caddy Ventures; Naomi Osaka’s trainer, Wim Fissette; former Wimbledon doubles champion Vania King; as well as Hannah Bronfman, Sanne Vloet, Inez and Vinoodh Matadin and Brian O’Kelley.
The company plans to use its new funding to grow its 12-person team and expand its geographic footprint, primarily in urban centers to begin with; the company is currently available in New York, Long Island, the Hamptons, upstate New York, Palm Beach, Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.
He also plans to expand his social networking features, which Goyal told me are important to Break the Love because “tennis (and sport in general) gives people a sense of belonging,” and even if users can come initially for information or amenities, “we have realized that one of the main reasons they stay with us on our platform is our community. ”
Sport, she explained, has always been one of the main things that connect human beings.
“With Break the Love, what we’re most excited to see isn’t how many times someone wins or loses, but how many times people play, how many connections they make in the process, and how they feel happy to come out of this experience. ” said Goyal.
“Our ultimate goal is to enable people, no matter how good they are at a sport, to feel empowered to play and to find their sense of belonging in the process through our platform.”
(Image Source: breakthelove.com)