Bowdeya Tweh reports:
The Western & Southern Open in Mason is hosting some of the world’s top tennis stars. Businesses with local ties hope some of that star power rubs off on them, too.
Midwest Sports, a Sharonville-based online retailer of tennis and fitness equipment, is the official retail partner with the W&S Open. Midwest Sports President Greg Wolf said the event gives the firm international exposure and opportunity to sell merchandise from various locations at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
He said the 27-year-old company plans to boost its sponsorship of the tournament next year.
Midwest Sports is one of only two U.S. locations selling the Hop-a-Razzi, a new type of tennis hopper that’s making its pro debut at the tournament this week.
The tennis ball hopper was developed by Chicago-area inventor and entrepreneur Christie Turdo. A tennis instructor and club manager, she said the idea to redesign the basket came to her in 2007 after seeing a child struggle attempting to pick up a tennis ball-filled basket.
Among the patented powder-coated steel basket’s features are built-in wheels and adjustable height handles. It comes in 12 colors and three sizes, holding 65, 95 or 125 tennis balls.
Also at the W&S Open:
• Plus Blue, a Downtown-based startup, is providing portable chargers for cell phones and other mobile devices. The tournament served as the company’s official launch.
On its Twitter account Thursday, the company said it has gained customers from 19 states in five days. Chargers were available for rent and sale at the tournament.
• Sweaty Bands, a Linwood-based producer and retailer of no-slip sport headbands, also has a retail presence at the W&S Open. Earlier this year, the company inked a deal with Nordstrom to sell its products there.
The company has been in operation since 2007.