TEMPE, Ariz. (May 6) – Wilson and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced the 2019 Wilson/ITA National Promoter of the Year Award winners on Monday (May 6). Anastasia Rentouli of Mississippi State University and Connor Christian of Ohio Northern University will receive a paid summer internship in the Grassroots Marketing department at Wilson’s global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
“We are thrilled to welcome Anastasia and Christian to our Wilson team for the summer,” Kristin Eggleston, associate marketing and promotions manager for Wilson, said. “They are both dedicated and passionate in promoting the sport of tennis in their schools and communities, and we look forward to having them here 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.
Rentouli and Christian 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.
“The mission of the ITA is to serve college tennis and return the leaders of tomorrow,” ITA President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy Russell said. “Anastasia and Connor are shining examples of student-athletes who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and I’m very pleased that Wilson selected both to spend the summer at its global headquarters in Chicago, and to take part in an extraordinary internship opportunity.”
Rentouli, a senior at Mississippi State University, is pursuing a double major in finance and marketing with a minor in public relations. Holding a 3.97 cumulative GPA, the Athens, Greece, native was named the Southeastern Conference’s 2019 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s tennis.
“I am very honored and humbled to have received this award, and excited for the opportunity to grow and learn through this summer internship with Wilson,” Rentouli said. “I am so grateful to have been selected for this position and for the opportunity to remain involved with tennis following my collegiate tennis eligibility.
“Being able to promote one of the leading tennis brands to junior, adult and professional events while combining my educational knowledge and lifelong passion for the sport, is something that I would love to do,” Rentouli added.
For the past three years, Rentouli has been a member of M-Club, Mississippi State’s student-athlete community service-based organization, and currently serves as its president, leading meetings, activities, and projects. One of her responsibilities included running the student-athlete social media accounts (Instagram and Twitter), where she used the platforms to promote upcoming contests of all 16 varsity teams and publicizing the student-athletes’ stellar achievements.
Rentouli also is MSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council’s (SAAC) Campus Involvement Chair. In that role, she bridges Bulldog student-athletes with on-campus events and promotes opportunities for them to excel.
In 2018, Rentouli was honored with the ITA’s Southern Region Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award and ITA Southern Region Cissy Leary Sportsmanship Award. Additionally, the Bulldog senior has been recognized as a three-time member of the SEC Community Service Team, was a 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team selection, and is a three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete honoree.
On the court, she has been equally impressive. While playing a major role in producing one of the most successful stretches of MSU women’s tennis history, she was named All-SEC Second Team in both 2018 and 2019. The senior stands fourth all-time at State in overall career victories (150), second in singles wins (87) and tied for third in doubles wins (63). More impressively, she is on pace to finish in the top 5 all-time at State for winning percentage in all three of those categories.
Christian is a senior marketing major and will graduate from Ohio Northern in December.
“This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime. Wilson has always been there in my tennis career and the experience will not only shape my future but allow me to inspire future generations,” Christian said. “I am beyond thankful to accept this award and position with such an outstanding company.
“Coming in last year and into a situation where we were building a team, I had an opportunity to make an impact by promoting excellence and high character,” Christian added. “From the court to the classroom there are no off days, and to achieve success one must put in hard work and effort day in and day out.”
Christian has gained significant practical experience during his collegiate career, serving marketing internships with York Golf & Tennis (York, ME), Café Pomigliano and Graffiti Lake in Chicago. He gained additional experience working for the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy in Hilton Head, S.C.
About the ITA: The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body of college tennis, overseeing women’s and men’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College. 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 @ITAtennis on Twitter.
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.