The TCA Story
In 2005, TCA Holdings, LLC split into three divisions: Midtown Health, which manages the corporate centers and wellness programs; Tennis Corporation of America, which develops and licenses tennis products and programs; and Midtown Athletic Clubs, which manages the company’s sports and fitness clubs.
In the Beginning…
TCA Holdings started as Tennis Corporation of America (TCA) in 1969 when Alan Schwartz and his father, Kevie, built the world’s largest indoor tennis facility. Tennis was Alan’s great passion, and he had won multiple state and national titles. He and Kevie often played together, even winning the Chicago Father and Son Tennis Championship.
They collaborated to build Chicago’s Midtown Tennis Club, which Billie Jean King refers to as “the benchmark against which all tennis clubs should be measured.” Midtown improved the quality of the game through adjustments in lighting and spacing. Kevie, a successful chemist, developed Tennis Turf ®, a new surface that could cushion the body while offering a true tennis bounce.
They did it because they loved the game
Despite all of these innovations, what really set Midtown apart was the commitment to actively creating and teaching tennis players, not just selling memberships and court time. Alan made this perfectly clear, saying, “We love the game of tennis. We want everyone in the whole world to play tennis. We are going to create beginners.”
That love translated into success, and Midtown began opening new clubs in the Chicago area, upstate New York, Boston, southern Indiana and Kansas City. These were more than just tennis clubs. TCA wanted to create a place where members connect with associates and each other; a place where people feel a sense of comfort and friendship.
TCA Clubs were committed to improving every player’s game, offering lessons for every level and constant personal improvement ─ a deep dive for tennis enthusiasts. TCA created recognized teaching programs, such as Tennis in No Time ®, currently licensed to the United States Tennis Association, and TenniSchools ® .
Beyond the Court ─ Fitness and Physical Therapy
As members’ interests expanded, TCA responded by adding fitness centers and other sports to the clubs. Beginning in 1980 in Rochester, New York, TCA redefined the health club.
Alan wanted these clubs to be an extension of Midtown’s original philosophies, noting that, “We wanted the same rich experience for our fitness centers that our tennis players had come to expect.” Each club carries the same commitment to personal improvement, no matter the activity. Like the original Midtown, they are comfortable places that foster real connections between members and associates.
With TCA’s commitment to personal growth, achieving results and social connection, these award-winning clubs set a new standard for sports and fitness in a healthy social environment
Many TCA clubs have integrated physical therapy centers operated by local leaders in their field, such as Athletico, SportsCare, ViaHealth and Henry Ford.
The Corporate Connection
TCA built on the success of its health clubs and began designing and managing corporate fitness centers. In 1989, McDonald’s enlisted TCA to develop an in-house fitness center. McDonald’s wanted trainees at Hamburger University to experience backyard water volleyball exactly the way the original store managers did at founder Ray Kroc’s San Diego home.
Above all, they wanted employees to bond with each other and to learn the company’s culture. This was a natural fit with TCA’s core philosophies of continued growth and personal connection. Those same ideals have helped TCA establish lasting relationships with such partners as Kraft Foods, CDW and St. Paul Travelers.
The New Wellness Model
In addition, TCA has partnered with Henry Ford Health System to develop Fitness Works ─ a fully integrated fitness, rehabilitation and orthopedic clinic. Fitness Works treats everything from cancer recovery to occupational injuries, and provides a teaching center for medical interns to learn the importance of nutrition and healthy living. In addition, the program provides wellness deliverables, bringing lectures, fitness breaks and stretching sessions to the worksite.
TCA also partnered with ProMedica in Toledo to develop the Wildwood Fitness Center, the centerpiece of a medical office building and outpatient surgical center.
Steven Schwartz , Alan’s son and CEO of TCA, attributes the success of these programs to TCA’s caring and connecting approach, noting, “Companies continue coming to us because of our ability to engage people.”
Return to Midtown
The company’s 13 North American sports resorts were rebranded as Midtown Athletic Clubs in 2006. This evokes the name of the original Midtown Club and the quality it stands for. Midtown clubs are upscale, comfortable and go way beyond a treadmill. Like the original Midtown Tennis Club, they are an immersive experience for enthusiasts and beginners alike ─ a place to play, grow and connect with friends.