ABOUT ARKANSAS CUP
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to promote tennis in Arkansas.
At our core, we’re simply tennis people helping tennis people and giving back to the tennis community.
What we do:
The AR Cup Tennis Foundation connects eight Central AR tournaments and three Northeast AR tournaments, the Delta Cup, together for a fun-filled year of tennis. We also have a wonderful group of sponsors who help us be able to give back to the tennis community.
We give a Head tennis racket and bag to a junior player in need at each AR Cup tournament.
We donate balls for junior development.
We assist Special Olympics with tennis programming.
The Arkansas Cup Tennis Foundation (aka. Arkansas Cup) is an adult tennis tournament series that links Central Arkansas tennis tournaments together for the opportunity for players to win cash prizes. The first year was a huge success, raising over $9,000 in prize money for players.
Participating tournaments had approximately 2,000 players registered in 2018 which was a 35% increase in registration rate compared to 2017. Arkansas Cup tournaments are very popular and have won multiple awards, not only in Arkansas but in the Southern Section as well. We’re doing our part to promote tennis in Arkansas and we’re nowhere close to being done.
This year we are expanding our reach and are looking for your help to not only continue our growth in adult tennis participation but to give underserved youth in our community the opportunity to experience the great benefits of tennis.
We do these things through:
Arkansas Cup Board Members
President and founder of Arkansas Cup Tennis Foundation which also runs the Arkansas Cup Series and the newly formed Delta Cup In Jonesboro. The Arkansas Cup Tennis Foundation began its relationship with Special Olympics in 2018 hosting some clinics in conjunction with our adult tournaments.
In 2020, we became an official partner of Special Olympics Arkansas where we provide all training and run clinics and completions for SO coaches and athletes.
I am the Assistant Tennis Professional at Chenal Country Club with a certification of Elite Professional from USPTA. I have been at Chenal for three years full time teaching adults and children. I also teach at Hurricane Lake Estates in Benton as well as Pine Bluff Country Club.
I am co-creator and director of the High Stakes Shootout. Shaun Wiseman and my self wanted to create a fun player focused tournament that would be competitive but also very fun and social. So in 2016, the Shootout was born. The Shootout has been the USTA Arkansas Adult Tournament of the Year in 2017 and 2019 along with USTA Southerns Adult Tournament of the Year in 2019. In 2020, USTA Southerns made the Shootout a championship level tournament which is only given out to 8 tournaments in the south each year.
I am an avid tennis player still playing on multiple teams and tournaments a year. I am married to Melanie Kiker and we have a blended family of 7 kids. We live on a 60-acre farm in Hot Spring County and have horses and other animals as well. We rescue and foster dogs for Dogs Only rescue organization as well.
Melanie started going to group lessons around 2005 in Conway. A pro named Mickey Bentley organized the lessons and ended up putting a 2.5 team together from the lesson group. He was a great mentor and their team would call him before and after matches as Mickey cared about their tennis game and how they were doing. Fast forward about fifteen years and Melanie is now a 4.0 and played in the Fast 4 Doubles National Championships in 2021.
She is currently in her fifth year as coach of the Benton High School Tennis team, as well as being the director of the 5A High School Conference Tennis Tournament. Melanie is on the court quite a bit and chances are good you’ll see her around when you have a match to play.
Her favorite things about tennis are the relationships one builds with all of the people you compete with and against. “Traveling to sectionals and nationals with a group is the most fun you can have!”
With her husband Brandon as the brainchild of the Arkansas Cup, Melanie fills a lot of roles with the organization. From ordering the prizes to organizing the final standings, Melanie is the Cup’s closer when things need to get done.
A passionate animal lover, she rescues dogs and horses and has six dogs and thirteen horses on the farm in Traskwood. Melanie has sent rescued animals to forever homes all over the United States.
Mat joined the board in 2020 with a focus on sponsorship relationships and new sponsorship opportunities.
Mat is a Little Rock native and currently serves as Vice President at Millennium Capital Advisers. He has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and is also a graduate of Catholic High School in Little Rock.
Mat has been playing tennis all of his life and is a very active member of the tennis community. In addition to tennis and a certain hashtag, Mat is also known around town for making some delicious barbecue sauce.
Jonathon is from Star City and currently lives in Bryant with his wife, Kristi, and 3 dogs: Sunshine, Daisy, and Styx.
He works for the Arkansas Legislative Audit, auditing state agencies. An Arkansas State alum earning a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance and a Master’s of Accountancy.
Jonathon started playing tennis in high school but “slacked off” during college. When he and Kristi moved to Little Rock, he started playing league tennis consistently.
Brad was born and raised in North Little Rock and became interested in tennis at the age of 14. He grew up playing on the courts of the Burns Park Tennis Center and played in high school and college. You can still find Brad playing two to three times a week. “I enjoy the game of tennis because it is a sport that you can play your entire life, and it offers opportunities to meet people on a regular basis through individual and tournament play.”
Brad’s involvement with the Arkansas Cup started when he saw the organization reaching out to introduce the game of tennis to young people. As a result, as CEO/Partner of RockStar Passes, he reached out to Brandon to become a sponsor and to offer our services, products, and relationships with the Arkansas Cup.
Brad has practiced Anesthesia at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock for over 20 years. When not on the court or in the operating room, you will find him spending most of his time at RockStar Passes where he is part owner and CEO, serving the entertainment industry.
Wait…there’s more! He also officiates college football and college Tennis. And in his leftover time, he studies magic and mentalism and plays the drums.
Brad is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church with his wife Candy and daughter Madisyn.
Christa Clark joined the Arkansas Cup Foundation Board in 2019.
She is an attorney and serves as a Senior Vice President of Arkansas Capital Corporation, a nonprofit finance group focused on investments in underserved markets.
She has a double major in Political Science and Business Administration from Baylor University and a Juris Doctor from the UALR Bowen School of Law. Christa is active in numerous nonprofits on the local and national level and is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, Arkansas Economic Developers, and other professional groups in the community development finance area.
Christa started playing tennis a few years ago and has seen the positive health, social, and community benefits of this community and wants to share these benefits with others.