Flexibility First

Preview image of “Flexibility First”
  • A New York online platform wants to become the one-stop shop for tennis enthusiasts.
  • Pexels - RODNAE Productions

A New York online platform wants to become the one-stop shop for tennis enthusiasts.

According to Statista, the number of tennis players in the US exceeded 20 million in 2020 and 2021. This represents a significant increase from the 2010s. This data supports the statement made by Break the Love founder Trisha Goyal, who launched her company in Greater New York in 2019: “We’ve seen the demand for courts in NYC increase dramatically as tennis has become more popular with both new and existing fans.”

The New Yorker wants to make tennis more inclusive and flexible with her “one stop shop for” drop-in tennis clubs and aspires to look beyond fixed club memberships and club fees. Her platform now operates right across the USA, and a central element of it is the option to book available courts. There are also community resources that, for example, help you find new players or help organise tennis rounds among friends. This smart feature can also be used by official clubs. In this way, Break the Love hopes to develop into a holistic ecosystem for services and benefits concerning racquet sports. They also already offer coaching sessions.

During the pandemic, ISPO magazine featured an article by sports psychologist Kai Engbert in which he predicted this development towards loosely organised sports groups. “The trend away from organised sport in clubs, for example, towards individually organised sport will increase.” The change in leisure activities has also fundamentally changed the community structure in which people were active.

Trisha Goyal can see the potential for numerous municipal tennis courts in the US with her service. The Parks Department for New York City alone manages more than 300 tennis courts. Goyal wants to organise central access to these, and cites the successful online service Hipcamp, which arranges public camping locations, as a reference: “Hipcamp works on-site with park authorities to obtain open data, making it easier to find and reserve campsites online.”

In the USA, Break the Love already collaborates with partners such as American Express and fitness chain YouFit. So far, the start-up has raised 2.8 million US dollars across two seed rounds with a conglomerate of ten investors.