NEW YORK – He's hired! Donald Trump (search) is helping the U.S. Tennis Association promote participation in the sport.
Trump will appear in print ads in the official U.S. Open (search) program and in national publications in the fall. He also taped a promo that will be shown on video screens during the Grand Slam tournament starting Aug. 30.
A regular at the U.S. Open for many years, Trump did the promos as a favor to a friend who's a former USTA board member.
The spots tout the Web site TennisWelcomeCenter.com, which promotes more than 4,000 facilities across the country where tennis lessons are available. People can find their nearest Tennis Welcome Center by entering their zip code on the Web site.
It's all part of a campaign called "Tennis. Come Out Swinging" launched in March by the USTA and the Tennis Industry Association (search), which includes manufacturers and retailers.
In his filmed promo, Trump says: "If you don't go to TennisWelcomeCenter.com, you're fired!" -- using the catchphrase from his hit reality TV show, "The Apprentice," which begins its second season on NBC next month.
Trump's print ad shows him sitting behind a desk with a gold tennis racket. The copy reads: "Fire Away. After a long day of handing out pink slips there is nothing more rewarding than grabbing a racket and heading to the courts. It's a great way to stay fit, keep sharp and relieve stress."
"Seeing that Donald is an avid tennis player and a big fan of the U.S. Open, it was only natural for us to approach him to appear in the campaign," USTA executive Kurt Kamperman said. "Everyone knows who Donald Trump is and what he is about, and to have him promoting the benefits of tennis is priceless."