With summer like weather in most of the Northeastern USA this week, we had to throw some attention to one of those niche sports that is gaining marketshare through some solid PR and grassroots work…Beach Tennis USA. What started as an offbeat idea has gained solid groundswell support both on the branding and the participation side, grabbing coverage in publications like USA Today, The New York Times,.an.?Entrepreneur Magazine and regional coverage of athletes and the sport in places like Tampa and other cities where events are held. By creating a niche for the growing number of tennis players at low cost and combinin.with the fun atmosphere of the beach, Beach Tennis has found ways to gain sponsors, get media coverage and take a game that has struggled with a younger demo and make it more appealing.USTA began its push toward the US Open Series and the US Open early this week. hosting a National Anthem contest at Radio City Music Hall in New York as well as creating a platform for early ticket sales. The world's greatest tennis event continues its expansion and branding beyond two weeks in New York, and by starting a push as the French Open ends and before the U.S. Open golf begins this weekend, they have again been able to keep the event top of mind well in advance. Great long term strategic planning for the USTA. Also on the tennis front, June is Wimbledon as well, and Media Post had a solid piece worth reading this week about HSBC's activation with their sponsorship. Learning from the success of the US Open, the other Grand Slams have taken to larger reaching activation programs, with this one for the All England Club being the latest…with Euro 2008 beginning, Media Post also had a good piece today on Puma's activation for the event, using the digital space to get club ringtone's out an.building in other components for fans to enhance support…good example of digital space activation by the sneaker brand…on the NBA front, New Orleans’ Hornets star guard Chris Paul nailed a great partnership with Right Guard, a great forward thinking move by the brand and th.?player reps to announce during a very hot NBA Finals and build through the Olympics and into next season…and the compelling growth in branding for cricke.continues, with a Bloomberg piece detailing a high stakes event with big branding opportities in the Carribean, backed partially by Texas billionair.Allen Stanford..?