CAMPAIGNS: Game, set and match to tennis - Corporate Community Initiative

Following the success of a tennis roadshow in 1996, the Sunday Telegraph has launched a three tier junior tennis initiative in conjunction with David Lloyd Leisure and BUPA. Tennis ’97 was launched amid a surge of interest by young people in tennis, sparked by the international success of British players and aims to harness this enthusiasm.

Following the success of a tennis roadshow in 1996, the Sunday

Telegraph has launched a three tier junior tennis initiative in

conjunction with David Lloyd Leisure and BUPA. Tennis ’97 was launched

amid a surge of interest by young people in tennis, sparked by the

international success of British players and aims to harness this

enthusiasm.



Objective



To focus on making tennis accessible to young people at all levels and

to build the game by creating an infrastructure to provide the

foundation to develop future British champions.



Tactics



API Consulting was chosen for its expertise in major sports initiatives

and was briefed six months prior to launch date. A three-tiered

structure for the initiative was developed to cater for novices,

recreational players and experts comprising: 16 Tennis-for-all Roadshows

at David Lloyd Centres offering an introduction for 8 to 16-year-olds;

prizes and benefits to encourage clubs to stage Junior Club

Championships; and a Grand Prix for the junior tennis elite with top

finishers selected for an October Grand Prix Final at the David Lloyd

Centre in Portugal.



Product sponsors - including racquet brand Wilson, court manufacturer

En-tout-cas, sportswear brand Puma and energy drink Lucozade - were

sourced for marketing support.



Australian tennis player Pat Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, was

known by David Lloyd Leisure to be keen to get involved at junior level,

and provided his endorsement free-of-charge. Still a competitor, his

personal appearances had to be fitted in around commitments on the

circuit. The Lawn Tennis Association was involved in an advisory

capacity.



A double-page launch feature in the Sunday Telegraph was planned for 4

May introducing the Roadshows, with follow-up vouchers every Sunday

until mid-October. Local media being targeted in the lead up to each

Roadshow.



Junior Club Championship publicity and administration packs were mailed

out to over 2000 LTA affiliated clubs, with a target of 350

registrations by August.



Sixty existing junior tournaments were nominated as qualifiers for the

Junior Grand Prix.



A hotline was set up for enquiries generated by media coverage, with the

launch being tactically timed to maximise pre-Wimbledon tennis

fever.



Results



The first two Roadshows, in Chigwell and Bristol, attracted around 250

children to each location. Local TV, radio and press covered the

events.



After two weeks 50 clubs had registered for the Junior Club

Championships.



Weekly exposure for the initiative in the Sunday Telegraph was

guaranteed from early May to mid-October.



The hotline has dealt with a steady stream of calls, which accelerated

during the build-up to Wimbledon. Feedback from specialist tennis media

has been positive: ’An initiative that seeks to introduce tennis to

young people is to be welcomed,’ says Alastair McIver, editor of Tennis

World.



Verdict



The crucial combination of cash, facilities, a media platform and timing

made this the perfect joint promotion. The three major players are each

achieving brand strengthening objectives in the community. In targeting

youth they are satisfying long term business goals, while also seen to

be serving a worthwhile aim - getting as many young people involved in

sport as possible. With commitment from all participants to make it an

annual event, ’Tennis ’97 has the muscle to become a major initiative,’

said John Feaver, LTA director of events and tournaments.



Client: The Sunday Telegraph

PR Team: API Consulting

Campaign: Tennis ’97

Timescale: May to October 1997

Cost: Undisclosed



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