NEW YORK: The United States Tennis Association named Dan Klores Communications (DKC) as AOR, to help with both its professional and community tennis initiatives.
Chris Widmaier, senior director of PR for the USTA, said the organization tapped DKC to increase coverage of tennis and its players outside of the sport pages and to help with its community fitness initiatives. The USTA is the nation's governing body for tennis and operator of the US Open, the only professional tennis grand-slam event on US soil.
The organization previously worked with Edelman. Widmaier praised the outgoing agency, but said it was looking to go in a different direction.
"[DKC] had some unexpected ideas, which is good in PR," said. "We thought they had a good handle of the many different components needed to grow the sport of tennis."
Widmaier specifically praised the ideas DKC pitched for promoting tennis as a fitness activity, and said the organization would like to adopt some of the undisclosed initiatives.
Widmaier also hopes the agency will help further the entertainment value of US pro players by working with celebrity magazines such as US Weekly and People.
"We want to raise the overall coverage level of our sport," Widmaier said, adding that media coverage begets more coverage.
The USTA has taken steps to bolster its media coverage. It created the US Open Series last year, which took ten previously unrelated tournaments leading up the US Open and combined them into a league format. The move led to a 50% ratings increase of the events last year, as well as a 5% increase in attendance.
Widmaier said the series also put the games in a context similar to other professional sports and created compelling media stories.
"The sports press has taken note of the change," Widmaier said, adding that it simplified the way the media could deliver the sports news to its readers.
Scott Miranda, EVP and head of DKC's sports division, will lead the account, which will feature ten staffers, drawn from the agency's sports, travel, entertainment, and healthcare departments. Billings were undisclosed.
DKC also announced two new clients: Radiate Group, an Omnicom-owned network of marketing agencies, and the Sports Business Journal.