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Universal Tennis is excited to announce the launch of the Universal Tennis Collegiate Ambassadors program. Heading into 2022, four top collegiate student-athletes have been selected to represent Universal Tennis as the first-ever Ambassadors.
With the newly adopted NCAA Name, Image, and Likeness rule allowing student-athletes to earn money, Universal Tennis has become one of the first companies to take advantage of the change in tennis.
Aligning on Missions to Grow Tennis
The four student-athletes will be promoting Universal Tennis while being at the forefront of the new Paid Hits program, which links people of all levels who are willing to pay to hit with elite players. The Ambassadors' efforts will align directly with Universal Tennis’ mission to grow the sport by connecting players globally through level-based play, innovative events, and a digital marketplace.
The Collegiate Ambassador program offers a mutually beneficial opportunity for Universal Tennis and the Collegiate Ambassadors. Universal Tennis will help each athlete market their Paid Hits, provide more opportunities to play in UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) events, and help further their careers and gain exposure in the tennis world.
The program will feature four collegiate athletes: Auburn’s Carolyn Ansari, Stanford’s Tristan Boyer, UCLA’s Taylor Johnson, and Texas’ Peyton Stearns. Each of these athletes was chosen for their college tennis success, their passion for the sport, and their desire to grow the game globally alongside Universal Tennis.
Meet the Ambassadors
“I like what Universal Tennis has been doing with tournaments and the UTR Rating system is really great for tennis,” Boyer said. “Universal Tennis is doing very good things for the sport that I love. When I was offered a chance to be part of Universal Tennis I was very happy to do it.”
Ansari is a junior at Auburn University who made a splash in 2021, earning spots on the All-SEC Second Team, SEC All-Newcomer Team, SEC Academic Honor Roll, and being named SEC Newcomer of the Week. She has played PTT events in Atlanta, Newport, and Bradenton and looks to expand her relationship with Universal Tennis through the Ambassador program.
Boyer, a Stanford sophomore with a 2021 Pac-12 Team Championship under his belt, is well-versed in the Universal Tennis world. This summer, he won two PTT events in a row in Newport and is a frequent Paid Hitter with players of all levels in the Palo Alto area.
“I want to help Universal Tennis grow and do as much as I can to bring Universal Tennis to more people,” Boyer said.
Johnson is a senior at UCLA with two years of eligibility left. She made the 2021 ITA Indoors All-Tournament selection for No. 3 doubles with Abi Altick, and is a three-time ITA Scholar Athlete from 2019-2021. Having played on the PTT, Taylor is excited to promote Universal Tennis programs and get involved with Paid Hits.
“I chose to be an ambassador for Universal Tennis because I played so many PTT events over the summer and they were so beneficial to developing my game,” Johnson said. “I love the people and the organization as well.”
Stearns is a sophomore at the University of Texas in Austin. She’s ranked inside the Top 10 in the ITA rankings and led the Longhorns to the 2021 NCAA Championship playing at the No. 1 position as a freshman. This year, she has played in the qualifying draws of the Western & Southern Open, US Open, and BNP Paribas Open.
Promoting Universal Tennis
As Ambassadors, these four athletes will be faces of Universal Tennis. Each athlete will share Universal Tennis knowledge, news, and platform resources, and promote and offer Paid Hits in their community. The partnership will be promoted on each athlete's social channels, as well as in-person through Paid Hits.
“I am looking forward to furthering my relationship with Universal Tennis as an ambassador, and influencing others to play in events as well as help others through the platform,” Johnson said.
Universal Tennis and U.S. collegiate tennis have gone hand in hand well before the launch of this Ambassador program. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and Universal Tennis have a deep-rooted partnership and put on a nationwide series in the summer, fall, and winter. ITA Circuits by Universal Tennis provide junior and collegiate players the opportunity to compete locally and have their results count globally. To date, the ITA and Universal Tennis have created more than 200 events with 20K+ participants.
On top of the ITA partnership, the UTR Pro Tennis Tour began in 2021 to create playing opportunities for men and women with a UTR Ranking in the 200-2000 range. Since January, over 160 events with a minimum financial commitment of $25,000 have been held all over the globe, featuring an innovative round-robin format that guarantees matches and prize money.
With the combination of Universal Tennis' strong partnership with the ITA, the UTR Pro Tennis Tour, and the launch of our Collegiate Ambassador program, Universal Tennis continues to elevate collegiate tennis.