THE ART OF TENNIS by Threepipe for The ATP Tennis Tour

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THE ART OF TENNIS

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Industry Sports Teams & Events
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Threepipe
Director Jim Hawker, Eddie May
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Travel, Tourism & Leisure
Advertiser: THE ATP TENNIS TOUR
Product/Service: WORLD TENNIS FINALS
Director: Jim Hawker (Threepipe)
Director: Eddie May (Threepipe)
Associate Director: David Robson (Threepipe)
Account Director: Lindsey Evans (Threepipe)
Account Manager: Duncan Ross (Threepipe)
Media placement: Press And Social Media Release (Player Videos, Photography) - The Telegraph, Mail On Sunday, The Mirror, The Guardian, News Of The World, Face - September
Media placement: London Gallery Exhibition - Telegraph, Time Out, Evening Standard, Sport Magazine - November
Media placement: Gallery Exhibition At Tournament - Evening Stabdard, Sky Sports News, Facebook, Twitter, Times, Telegraph - November
Media placement: EBay Auction - Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Facebook, Twitter - November

Summary of the Campaign
The ATP Tennis Finals is the culmination of the year long tour where the eight best ranked players meet to decide who is crowned world tour champion. Our objectives were to create a campaign which would deliver high impact media and social media coverage in the immediate build up to the event to drive late ticket sales.

We had 20 minutes access to the world's top 20 players two months before the tournament, not knowing which eight would qualify for the finals and having no media access time.

We created the 'Art of Tennis' and asked each of the players to paint a self portrait using tennis balls, racquet and paint. We filmed and photographed each session and released the final piece of artwork as and when the player qualified for the final to the media and through social media channels.

We exhibited the artwork in a gallery, auctioned the artwork on eBay and gave consumers the opportunity to create their own tennis art.

The campaign exceeded the client objectives and delivered fantastic results across multiple channels which helped to contribute to the most successful ATP Finals to date in terms of ticket sales, TV viewership and ROI.

The Situation
The ATP World Tour Finals is the finale of the year-long World Tour, where the world’s top eight tennis players battle it out over eight days at London’s The O2 to win the final coveted title of the season.

Our brief was to create a campaign to promote the event in the two month build up to the event, driving traffic to the ATP website and helping to drive ticket sales. The campaign also needed to create content that could be used in the international markets in which the tournament was being broadcast and across the ATP’s own social media channels.

The Goal
Generate mainstream UK media coverage with a reach of over 50 million, targeting a mainstream and sports audience, driving awareness and interest in the event.

Provide content for international PR exploitation in key broadcast territories.

Deliver 100,000 unique visitors to the ATP website and help to sell over 250,000 tickets for the Finals.

It was key that the impact of the campaign was felt in the immediate build up to and during the tournament to help drive last minute ticket sales.

Create a campaign which the players themselves would enjoy.

The Strategy
Access to the top tennis players was extremely limited (only twenty minutes per player and more than two months in advance of the tournament). We also didn’t know exactly which players would qualify for the event, or when they would qualify, ruling out any kind of "launch moment" with the group of players.

Our strategy was to find a creative way to make use of the limited time with each player (as each of them qualified), to deliver content that we could exploit over the following two months in traditional and digital media both in the UK and internationally.

The idea had to be interesting enough to deliver coverage into non-sports media; provide engaging social media content; help secure interest in the lesser known players and, crucially, be something that the players themselves would be motivated and excited about taking part in.

Execution
We commissioned portraits of each players as they qualified for the event. These were unique self-portraits, created by the players using a stencil, racquet, balls and paint. Each player was filmed creating his portrait and media quotes secured.

As each player qualified we released imagery of the artwork and behind the scenes video, providing coverage without the need for further player access, to media and through ATP social media channels.

In the immediate build up to the event, we organised a gallery exhibition of the portraits, allowing the public to get up close to the artwork. Media were invited to film and photograph the portraits and the venue was used for the official tournament draw ceremony.

As the tournament started, the portraits were moved to The O2 and consumers and media given the opportunity to create their own works of art. All portraits were auctioned on eBay during the tournament.

Documented Results
Media Coverage:

92 pieces of UK broadcast, print and online media generated with a total of 172m impacts. More than 50% of media coverage was in non-sports media and 67% directly drove people to the ATP website. The story and content was picked up internationally in France, Germany, Spain, India, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US.

Digital Content:

129,247 page views (115,548 unique users) of the campaign website. Over 56,000 views of Art of Tennis content on YouTube. 20,653 plays of video content on ATP website. 47,397 views of campaign editorial on ATP website. Twitter mentions and Retweets reached over 300,000 followers. Over 2,700 Facebook likes and 400 comments around Art of Tennis content.

Charity Auction:

Over 66,000 visits to the eBay auction pages, with 662 bids

Outcomes:

253,123 fans attended the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. $127,755 was raised for charity.