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Discussion Starter #1
You would think with all the money and marketing expertise in the sporting industry that some genius would have figured out how to market men's tennis in the U.S. by now. I think we're looking at a huge case of denial. The Powers That Be think they can get away with just talking about how good the young American players are. But, after three years and no major trophies, the short attention span public has moved on. In this thread, you be the marketing executive. How would you market this product?

Here's my attempt:

*The US Open is our nation's major. This is a perfect time to start gearing up for it. The campaign should rely heavily on a television blitz of small attention grabbing ads.

*Target the 12-30 crowd. This means the cartoon hours, WB, BET, MTV, and the spanish speaking station with the largest viewership in the target age group.

*Attention grabbing ads:

$ Everything associated with USO '03 should have a "club" song. For example, baseball played "Who Let The Dogs Out" and everybody played "I'm Coming Out (So, you better get this party started)" to death.

$ Quick Ad: In silence, a tennis ball comes at the viewer the way the special effects arrow did in the Kevin Costner version of "Robin Hood". Then you hear the huge roar of the crowd followed by the sound of a ball being hit back and forth in a rally. The words on the screen say "It's Coming" "US Open - DATES - NETWORK" and "Be there!".

$ Long Ad: Campaign song. Hardcourt highlights. Roaring crowd. The words.

$ Long Ad: The same, only focus each ad on one of six New Balls with their last name shown over and over.

$ Long Ad: DJ spins the campaign song in a club or on a beach with everyone watching and cheering to New Balls playing a hard hitting rally with a great winner on a huge screen.

$ Co-operative ads with Pepsi, Nike, New York City, etc, focusing specifically on the US Open and the New Balls.

*Finally, all of this will be wasted if the American media doesn't follow the same pattern when the US Open starts. They need to make an effort to spread the wealth when they cover matches and talk about individual players.
 

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I would re-up the "New Balls" campaign, since they have now come into their own. (Only thing, isn't the guy who created this concept now the head of the WTA and it's new "power feminism" campaign?)

The US Open does a good job of promoting the Slam in New York through its subway-ad campaign. (Along with the usual American suspects, they have included Safin in the past. Like to see a Hewitt and Federer ad this time). Now the USTA should promote the Slam in other major cities (Washington, LA, Miami) with a similar subway campaign.

No more McEnroe ads! I think they can get the Britney-generation with Roddick and James Blake ads. I liked those Amex ads featuring Monica, Jennifer and Roddick from last year, but I think they are a bit cutesy now. Let's see Roddick selling a Hummer grinding through dirt! What about a mixed ad with Serena and Venus fighting over Roddick during a tango (okay, it's silly, but so are most memorable TV ads).
 

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I like your ideas! I don't know who or where the "New Balls" ad guy is. But, bringing the campaign back and updating it with the major titles the New Balls have won would be great.

I liked the AMEX commercials, too, especially Monica grunting in the grocery store. :D Your HUMMER idea is very edgy and macho. I think it's hot! The tango deal sounds good, too. I can envision flashy Spanish dresses, roses in their teeth, and at the end they can crack up laughing.

I saw this year's USO ad for the first time last night on USA. It was nice. They were showing a lot of Americans cutting up on the tennis court. Davenport was smiling, twirling her racket on her finger, and dropping it on the court. Serena was clowning around in a nice white top and black skirt. She was the last image. She was smiling and holding both arms in the air. It was a fun, light hearted ad. I liked it. They still need to show more international stars and get something hard and edgy.
 

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Those are great ideas, I wonder if any of you took up marketing classes... ;)

The ATP is actually doing a good job concerning their Final Masters Series Championsips in Houston, Texas... Ads featuring the players and the tournament could be seen throughout the Wimbledon coverage, and will probably run during the US Open as well... Public attendance for the Masters Series tournaments has been a bright spot on the ATP's marketing scheme...
 

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Thanks, Ace Tracker! :) I haven't taken any classes, but, I know what I likes. ;) You're right about those Houston ads. They're short, international, action oriented, and to the point. I get to go for my Christmas present this year! WOO HOO!! :dance:
 

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I know this is pretty sleazy, but let's face it, drama (and sex) sells. But, if all you care about are ratings, I think the best way to draw in an audience is to plant lurid information in the media - whether they be true or not.

In general, ads only re-enforce the interest of people who already have at least some interest. All those ads are all well and good, but tennis won't get new viewers because of some cutesy ad - in fact, do it wrong, and it might turn them away. But, if people were to hear about feuds between players or love rivalries or find naked or scandalous pictures mysteriously popping up in tabloids, people might turn in out of curiousity. Of course, balance that out with human interest stories. Set up a "good guy" and "bad guy" situation.

On the court, allow players freedom in their clothing (or lack thereof) - make it a point to do close-ups on shirt changes or when a player is returning serve.

Between the stories and the eye candy, that should bring the audience in and hopefully get them to stay for at least a little while. Hopefully, after that, the tennis will be good enough to keep them there - well, at least until the next shirt change.
 
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