TEMPE, Ariz. – Wilson and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the 2017 Wilson/ITA National Promoter of the Year Award winners on Monday, April 10, 2017. Kelli Woodman of Seattle University and Milton “Neto” Cacace of Harding University will receive a paid summer internship to work at Wilson’s global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, in its Grassroots Marketing department.
“We are thrilled to add Kelli Woodman and Milton “Neto” Cacace to our Grassroots Team this summer,” said Wilson U.S. Grassroots Program Manager/Racquet Sports, Cy Dofitas. “We had our work cut out for us with a talented group of applicants for this year’s award. Kelli and Neto really demonstrated the qualities that we were looking for in the Promoter of the Year recipient. Wilson is having a fantastic year with the resurgence of Roger Federer, and we are excited to share this experience with both Kelli and Neto. We are looking forward to having both join us at the Wilson Global Headquarters in Chicago.”
Each year, the Wilson/ITA National Promoter of the Year Award recognizes two student-athletes who advance the game of tennis by devoting consistent time and effort to promotional activities, and by supporting and bringing awareness to their school program and to college tennis in general.
Woodman and Cacace will assist with the day-to-day projects for the entire Grassroots and Marketing team. Interns will have an opportunity to work and experience all the different facets of Wilson Racquet Sports from tennis balls, racquets (performance and recreational), promotions/marketing, U.S. tour, indoor (racquetball, squash, badminton and paddle), accessories and apparel/footwear.
“Kelli and Neto are excellent choices for the National Promoter of the Year Awards,” said Mary Edman, ITA Director of Member Programs. “The ITA wishes both student-athletes well as they spend their summer at the Wilson global headquarters in Chicago to take part in an extraordinary internship opportunity.”
Woodman is an international business and marketing major Seattle University, with an anticipated graduation date of May 2018. She serves as the university’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) social media chair, where she manages the SAAC’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. She assists in creating promotional videos for events, and posts the content on social media.
“I have never been more excited to work for Wilson and the Grassroots Marketing team,” said Woodman. “This is my dream internship, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. Tennis has always been my biggest passion in life, and I am so lucky to be able to use my marketing and international business major alongside my sport.”
A three-year team captain on the men’s tennis team, Cacace is a business administration in information systems major at Harding University, and like Woodman, carries an anticipated graduation date of May 2018. He’s spent the past three years working as a volunteer tennis coach in Searcy, Arkansas, and was a tennis pro at Ross School Tennis Academy in East Hampton, New York, the summers of 2015 and 2016.
“It is an honor to receive such an award after competing with people all over the country,” said Cacace. “To be Wilson’s intern for the summer will be an experience to carry with me for the rest of my life and I am ready to be hands-on. I am so blessed!”
Both Woodman and Cacace had some advice for student-athletes looking to get more involved with their team’s promotional efforts.
“My advice for other student athletes looking to get involved in promoting their team is to get involved in the community and around school,” said Woodman. “I believe, in order to promote your team, you have to give back. For me it was getting involved in Acting Autism (teaching Autistic kids tennis) and being the social media chair on Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), promoting all teams at SeattleU. The more you support others, the more they will support you.”
Added Cacace: “My advice for other student-athletes is to be proactive,” said Cacace. “You only regret the things you do not try in life. So, bringing new ways to impact the team on and off court should be part of your life as a student-athlete. I believe in mentoring younger kids as way to inspire future student-athletes and also a tool to spread the word about your team.”
About the ITA
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees women's and men’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men's and women's varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com, like the ITA on Facebook or follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram.
About Wilson Racquet Sports
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/en-us.