SKILLMAN, N.J. - Carlos Hernandez of the University of Texas and Annie McCarthy of the University of Illinois have been selected as the 2011 Wilson/ITA National Promoter of the Year Award winners, the ITA announced today.
The Wilson/ITA National Promoter of the Year Award recognizes individuals who promote the game of tennis at the collegiate level by devoting consistent time and effort to promotional activities and who support and bring awareness to either their school program or to the sport as a whole. Two categories of collegiate promoters have been established: varsity Team Managers and Varsity Student-Athletes. One individual from each category - Hernandez and McCarthy, respectively - have been selected to receive a paid summer internship at Wilson's global headquarters in Chicago, Ill.
Carlos Hernandez is a senior from Arlington, Texas, majoring in Sport Management at the University of Texas. In addition to serving as the Team Manager for the UT men's tennis team for the past three years, he also holds the position of Event Operations Intern for the University Interscholastic League and assists the women's tennis team as the official racquet stringer. Carlos' passion has led to numerous promotional endevours that have been widely recognized amongst the Longhorn faithful.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment is his creation of the "Texas Tennis" Facebook page, in an attempt to use the growing power of social media to reach a greater audience. The day-to-day duties include managing content such as rankings, photos, latest news and creating awareness for fans about upcoming matches and events. The current fan base has reached 1,111 and is rapidly expanding.
"I couldn't be happier for Carlos," said Men's Head Coach Michael Center. "I can't think of a more deserving person to receive this award. His work ethic and attitude is something we will surely miss next year. He was such an integral part of our programs' success over the past three years. I know Wilson will be very happy to have Carlos as a member of their team."
Annie McCarthy is a senior from Chicago, Illinois, majoring in Psychology, with an emphasis on Creative Writing and Media Studies. In her four years as a tennis player for the University of Illinois, she has promoted her team's matches in every way possible: handing out fliers, managing a blog called "Advantage Annie", which details all of the exciting things going on with the team, creating a Facebook team page and so much more.
Annie's passion for tennis and writing landed her an internship this past summer as a blogger for the sports website INASECTV.com. In addition to displaying her writing skills, the main objective of the internship was marketing and promotion with the purpose of learning how to better promote your blog. Annie's experience didn't stop there though, as she also interned last semester at the local Champaign, IL radio station 94.5, which allowed her to promote tennis more personally, while informing the public of upcoming women's tennis matches.
"This award is another example of the tremendous support and commitment Wilson and the ITA passionately make toward raising excitement for college tennis and the student-athlete experience," said Women's Head Coach Michelle Dasso. "Annie is thrilled to receive this very unique opportunity and I am confident that she will do an outstanding job."
"Congratulations to Carlos, Annie and all of our nominees," said David A Benjamin, Executive Director of the ITA. "This unique Wilson/ITA National Promoter of the Year Award presents a wonderful opportunity for students to be recognized for their promotional efforts of their varsity tennis programs and tennis in general. Both Carlos and Annie have been outstanding in their efforts to promote collegiate tennis, and this award will offer them a special opportunity to experience intern positions this summer with Wilson Sporting Goods, a leader in the tennis industry."
"Wilson joins the ITA in congratulating Carlos and Annie," said Andy Benedict, Wilson's National Promotions Manager. "We are delighted to have these outstanding award winners joining our Wilson family this summer and are confident they will be significant assets to our brand as we continue this successful partnership with the ITA and college tennis."
As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men's and women's varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 15,000 college varsity student-athletes at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA Web site is www.itatennis.com.
Wilson Racquet Sports is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world's leading manufacturers of sports equipment and owned by Amer Sports. Wilson designs, manufactures and distributes sporting goods throughout the world and focuses on making technologically advanced products which help players of all levels perform better. Wilson's core sport categories include: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis). For more information, visit www.wilson.com.