Texas State University San Marcos | BigSigns.com

Texas State University San Marcos

Texas State University San Marcos

Texas State University San Marcos

Texas State University San Marcos

Texas State University San Marcos

Texas State University San Marcos

Texas State University San Marcos

Texas State University Upgrades Tennis Courts
by Coach & AD Magazine. February 2016

Some of the biggest improvements an athletic program can make are also the easiest, and that’s what coaches have learned at Texas State University.

It’s unlikely that very many people gave it a second thought when years ago the athletic program installed windscreens around its tennis courts, but there was a tangible difference. The university’s eight outdoor courts are situated at the foot of a cliff, and the brush and debris that collected outside the fence was an eyesore. The program needed a solution.

“It was not the most pleasing site,” said Tory Plunkett, the university’s head women’s tennis coach. BigSigns.com outfitted 10 courts total, two of which are indoors. “There were some rocks and some weeds, so we thought if we wrap it around and cover it up, it’ll make the facility look a lot nicer.”

Blocking off the unsightly landscape surrounding the university’s tennis courts created a new atmosphere for athletes and fans. Spectators now looked out at a short windscreen printed with the Texas State name and logo, a significant upgrade from the scenery they were treated to before the improvements. The university didn’t want the images to distract players in the heat of competition, so one side of the windscreens was left blank so athletes didn’t have trouble locating the ball.

Schools often make these types of upgrades as part of a larger branding initiative to create more visibility for its athletic program. While that wasn’t the case at Texas State, Plunkett said there was communication between the facilities and marketing departments to make sure the design fell in line with the university’s vision.

“It was more about aesthetics and not as much for branding, but of course that played into it,” Plunkett said. “What’s really cool about it is once it went up and was in place, the biggest aspect was the identity. That really came into play.”

The process from conception to installation was fairly seamless. Plunkett said the project lasted the entire fall semester, mostly because of the approval process. One of the most overlooked aspects of hanging new signs or banners is measurements, but the facilities manager was on point in verifying all the courts’ dimensions. He even remembered to account for an opening that allows athletes to retrieve tennis balls when they’re batted over the fence.

“He really thought about it,” Plunkett said. “He did a phenomenal job with the measurements, and when we received the windscreens, everything went right up.”

Plunkett added that the reaction from coaches and athletes was positive. Last summer, the university resurfaced the tennis courts and installed new scorecards, and more improvements could be on the horizon.

Hanging windscreens seems simple enough to anyone not involved in these types of projects, but attention to detail is critical in making sure the school gets exactly what it wants.

Plunkett said it was essential that the project involve multiple departments — facilities, marketing and athletics. Different perspectives are ultimately what helped the university land the finished product it was hoping for. In situations like these, it’s hard to say whether someone with limited athletic experience would have the foresight to consider what images or colors may be a distraction to athletes who are trying to focus on the competition.

Plunkett said that BigSigns.com maintained constant communication throughout the project. The company included everyone necessary to make sure that not even the smallest detail was overlooked.

“The communication was very nice,” she said, “and not only did it meet our expectations but it exceeded them with the results we received and the impact it made.”

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