My Favourite Tennis Ads

Tennis has seen some amazing ads in its history, most of which involve tennis professional players themselves. Below are my top 3 favourite tennis ads of all time.

3. SPEED WingTennis ft. Novak Djokovic

The ad showcases Head’s new YouTek IG SPEED MP racquet with Djokovic playing tennis on the wings of a plane at 1000ft in the air with his partner. This crazy feat was done to showcase the speed and precision of Head’s new racket, in that it is so fast and precise that players are able to rally whilst on top of a flying airplane. I love this ad for the way its made into a short, dramatic film through the use of slow motion effects, and a storyline to follow, which isn’t told through spoken words but expressions and actions of the characters shown. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens in the end (that they are able to rally on the plane then land safely), even knowing it was an advertisement for Head.

Youtube views: 1, 134, 459

2. Nike Football Commercial – Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Rafael Nadal

The Nike ad showcases a battle between Ronaldo and Nadal; Nadal playing tennis with his racquet whilst Ronaldo returns the tennis ball over the net using soccer skills such as kicks, head butts etc. Although this isn’t an advertisement specifically on the sport of tennis or tennis products, it still promotes the sport through demonstrating Rafa Nadal and his skills on the court as well as the amount of fun he’s having playing tennis. Nadal’s presence doesn’t all go to waste though, being covered in head-to-toe white Nike gear, promoting the brand’s clothing as well as it’s new soccer boots which is what the add is focused on. Let’s not forget that eye candy too…

Youtube views: 505, 771

1. Roger Federer Nike Ad

My all time favourite ad displays one of (if not the) tennis’ legends of all time, Roger Federer defending himself from a supposed stalker of sorts (played by one of comedy’s legends Rhys Darby) by hitting a tennis rally inside his house using his weapon of choice, Wilson tennis racquet. This is my favourite tennis ad for many reasons including the use of drama, humour, a luxurious home as the setting, and great characters – both Rhys Garby and Roger Federer himself. It shows Federer to be invincible, talented, whilst still humourous and laid-back with the help of Nike attire (and Wilson racquets), convincing consumers to also purchase Nike products through celebrity endorsement.

Youtube views: 2, 616, 909

Digital marketing implications

Use of Youtube

Although these ads for Nike and Head would have been displayed on TV, websites, etc. the use of Youtube drives the awareness of the brand and players involved as well as revenue due to the high use of Youtube throughout the world and the numerous amounts of viewers who make videos viral. These are only a couple examples of videos found on Youtube which have gone viral due to the media platform. Therefore, companies need to be aware and ensure their ads not only reach traditional advertising platforms, but also social media platforms, and online such as Youtube in order to extend reach to as many people internationally as possible.

Professional player endorsements

The use of professional tennis players such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic in advertisements strengthens the ad for the brand and its products as it portrays the message to consumers that professional athletes approve of these products and use them to contribute to their athleticism and performance. Consumers will then feel more convinced to purchase these products in comparison to advertisements which may still be clever but not feature world-ranking players of the sport.

What are your favourite tennis ads? Do professional athletes convince you to purchase products if they endorse them?

You Are Being Watched

Have you ever wondered why Facebook is showing you the latest Adidas sports shoes when you were just recently on their website? Or why a random website you’re looking at is also showing an ad at the top of the page of an Adidas promotion which ends on Friday? This my friend, is what they call targeted advertising; a way of placing ads based on the demographics of consumers, their previous buying history, or behaviour (Hearst Newspapers, 2015). Let me explain the types of targeted advertising.

Firstly we have social networking ads which utilise social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a way of advertising based on who’s liking what, and your friends’ activities online. Take for example Facebook. Recently, I’ve been searching for flights to LA for my trip to the US, which brings me to how surprised (but then not surprised) I was to find this on my news feed:

facebook adWhen I went on to click ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ I saw the image below which explains I was seeing an ad of webjet.com because they wanted “…to reach people of Facebook through Criteo an advertising company that uses Facebook’s ad exchange.” Criteo is an international business which has digital performance advertising as its core focus. So this demonstrates companies’ use of external marketing businesses to tailor their advertising to targeted consumers who use Facebook.

facebook infoThe second type of advertising is search engine ads which display advertisements at the top and right hand side of search engines (e.g. Google) based on your searches for example:

search engine adsAs we can see, based on my search of one of Babolat’s racquets, Google has displayed 3 ads at the top of the page as well as on the right hand side (which we can recognise as ads with the small yellow square displaying the word ‘Ad’) as well as pictures of racquets and their prices on the right also which is a sponsored ad.

Lastly, we have behavioural ads which show up on websites you view based on your purchasing and browsing habits. As shown below, we can see that once I searched and looked at a particular Babolat tennis racquet, an advertisement for that particular product is shown when I’m reading articles on Forbes.com and when I’m ‘attempting’ to read an article for an assignment.

behavioural 1

behavioural 2In summary, targeted advertising has become a regular part of online advertising. Companies are now utilising demographics and data based on consumer habits in order to be able to target their advertisements on particular consumers who would be interested. Although, this doesn’t go without criticisms. A recent global study conducted by Adobe on 1250 Australian consumers found that 84% of Australians believe companies collect too much personal information about them, 87% believe there are too many technologies tracking and analysing the behaviour of consumers, and 73% believe “it’s creepy when companies target advertisements to consumers based on their behaviour”. In turn, 82% feel they have lost their privacy which brings me to my final questions to you – do you feel you’ve lost your sense of privacy because of targeted advertising used today? Have you ever been targeted yourself? I’d love to hear from you.

Kia’s Sponsorship Is On The Ball

Kia, a sponsor of the Australian Open since 2002, has brought about an amazing marketing campaign which not only enhances spectator engagement and interaction with the Australian Open, but also builds awareness of Kia and its cars manufactured in South Korea.

Working in conjunction with MediaBrands mobile solutions agency Mnet, the app “Game On” was created to give users the chance to return the world’s fastest serve by Sam Groth, using their smartphone. Seven different advertisements were shown during the the Australian Open event which gave users the opportunity to return seven different serves. To return the serve, users were to hold on to their phone tightly and swing once Sam Groth made his serve on TV, to feel as though viewers were playing tennis against Sam Groth himself. Through the app, users were also able to review shots via replay, compete against Facebook friends, or complete quizzes to gain more entries in the competition to win a Kia Cerato.

“Kia’s partnership provides us massive reach to a passionate audience to promote our cars… such an innovative and technologically advanced idea matches perfectly with Kia’s core brand values.” Tony Barlow, Chief Operating Officer, Kia

Retrieved from http://www.campaignbrief.com/assets_c/2014/01/KIA-APP-139479.html
Retrieved from http://www.campaignbrief.com/assets_c/2014/01/KIA-APP-139479.html

In order to portray Kia as an innovative and forward-thinking brand, the “Game On” app was made available on smart watches to allow users to return Sam Groth’s serve using other technology. This allowed Kia to demonstrate their abilities in taking advantage of the latest technologies in order to maximise brand engagement. In turn, Kia positioned themselves as unique knowing that not many apps are available on smart watches, especially apps developed in Australia.

“When you watch the tennis from home you can’t imagine the power of the players’ serves…chance to feel the pressure and react as the ball zips past. The app syncs with the on-screen serve using audio fingerprint triggers, and the accelerometer to determine the accuracy of the user’s swing…playable by anyone with an iPhone or Android smartphone.” Travis Johnson, CEO, Mnet

The campaign resulted in immense success with over 193,000 downloads of the “Game On” app last year. It also resulted in success for both the Australian Open and Kia. The tournament this year set out to be a more engaging and interactive event for spectators which has certainly been delivered through Kia’s campaign, allowing users to get a feel of what it’s like to return the world’s fastest serve in their own living room. Users will feel like they are involved and a part of the event rather than just a spectator and will therefore be more engaged and trigger more interest. Kia is the stand-out brand which benefits from the successful campaign, creating a technologically-savvy, innovative brand, and also building awareness of their great range of cars. Engaging with the app will also make users more likely to remember Kia as a brand and will create interest into their products.

Were you aware of Kia’s sponsorship? Did you have a crack at returning Sam Groth’s serve? Do you think it was a good campaign on Kia’s side? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

World’s First Tennis Rally On Social Media

In January, 2015, ANZ hosted it’s first tennis rally on social media to help a good cause. Players of any standard were invited to post, or share a video or photo of themselves hitting a tennis ball using the official hashtag for the campaign, #rallyforgood. For every ‘shot’ shared on public social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook etc., ANZ would donate $2 to several local community programs across the Asia-Pacific including Tennis Australia’s ‘Tennis Cares’ program. The main aim for the marketing campaign was to create the world’s largest tennis rally on social media as well as combine community support with driving awareness of tennis as a sport.

Stackla, a social content marketing platform, was used to discover all the different videos and photos that were being uploaded and shared, as well as curate them to ensure each rally was aligned. A range of social media platforms were used in promoting ANZ’s #rallyforgood campaign including Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Google+. Current world no. 1, Novak Djokovic, led the campaign in which he invited his #nolefam to take part and share their own photo or video rally on social media platforms, as well as starring in the advertisements as shown in the video above. The campaign was also promoted across outdoor, radio, on-site promotions, and during Channel 7’s broadcast of the Australian Open this year in January. Entries closed on 1st February.

As demonstrated, ANZ’s #rallyforgood campaign has shown its significance in the digital marketing world for tennis. It has opened our eyes in terms of the impact social media campaigns can have on businesses, including sports like tennis. Knowing the extensive use of social media nowadays (view Australian statistics here) ANZ back in January did the clever move of creating a campaign utilising social media and user-generated content, which not only creates brand awareness for ANZ, but also encourages the participation in the sport of tennis whilst raising money for community charities.

Source: http://cdn0.mumbrella.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2015-01-12-at-10.24.27-AM.png

So what does this tell us about the use of social media and digital marketing as a whole in the world of sport? It tells us that digital marketing is now becoming a valuable source of marketing for the sporting industry, whether it’s for increasing participation rates, raising funds, or building awareness of a sporting event. ANZ’s #rallyforgood is only one example which demonstrates this importance. Other events are also carrying this trend including the Australian Open at the beginning of the year which utilised a variety of social media platforms to turn the grand slam into a more spectator involved event (have a look at my ‘Australian Open 2015 serves an ace with its use of social media’ post which features a Youtube video I created on this). Therefore, we can see that digital marketing, including social media, now plays a critical role in campaigns if businesses are wanting wide coverage and a successful outcome.

Smartphone…Smart Tennis Racquet?

After watching this clip, are you as intrigued as I am? It’s amazing to see the increasing use of technology into everyday objects (including tennis racquets!) every single day. Already, it has been predicted that by 2025, most tennis players will be using these smart racquets in place of regular racquets.

For those who are unaware, the concept of linking machinery, other physical assets, and equipment (including sports equipment) with networked sensors and actuators to capture data and manage performance relates to the Internet of Things. The smart racquet, created by French-based company Babolat, which is an example of the Internet of Things records data on each shot you hit, and sends this information to your smartphone via Bluetooth.  The technology, which was developed over 10 years by more than 50 technicians, scientists and researchers, features built-in hardware and sensors in the racquet handle which measures the amount of racquet head speed used, whether the shot uses slice, topspin, or flat strokes, as well as where on the string bed the player has made contact with the ball.

Extracted from http://blogs-images.forbes.com/amadoudiallo/files/2014/09/babolatracket.jpg

The data is then transferred to the ‘Babolat Play’ app (on your smartphone or tablet) via Bluetooth where players and coaches can access and utilise the data to improve performance on the tennis court.  The app also takes on a social approach, where data and stats can be seen and viewed by other users in the Babolat Play community. The racquet, which is currently $449 at Tennis Warehouse Australia, houses 6 hours of battery life along with a memory capacity which holds 150 hours of tennis.

So now that we understand the gist of this technological breakthrough in tennis, what are the marketing implications? Who benefits, the player, the coach, Babolat? Let’s start with the player. Seeing the price may put off tennis players since its pretty much double the amount of a regular racquet, although the technology installed has the ability to change, improve, and evolve the game of a player, whether they’re a young up-and-comer or a professional competing in the ATP like Rafael Nadal himself.

Extracted from http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02910/rafa-esc_2910365a.jpg

If you’re wondering, no it won’t put tennis coaches out of business. As a matter of fact, it will make lessons with players more efficient and effective, aiding the coach in giving instruction to improve how a player hits each shot. Although the data collected from the racquet may significantly improve a player’s performance on its own, a coach’s instruction is still important in how to use this information and where to make changes in a given style of play. It also demonstrates (if the player needs proof) that the coach knows what he’s talking about.

Now let’s talk about Babolat and how they benefit from this amazing product.  The French-based company actually has access to all the data collected from each user’s saved hitting sessions. Why does that not surprise me? It means that Babolat has the information contained in each person’s profile including how often they play tennis, whether it’s a practice session or actual match, what sort of strokes they hit, how fast they hit their shots, and where they hit it on the string bed of the racquet. Sure, to some people, if not most people, this won’t be a big issue which is fine, although some may think it dives a bit too deep into the issue of privacy.

An example of data collected from using the smart racquet. Extracted from http://blogs-images.forbes.com/amadoudiallo/files/2014/09/babolatapp.png

What’s really interesting though is that if players purchase Babolat’s smart racquet, it’s almost certain they’ll grow attached to the product since it stores all the data of how you play. Therefore, the consumer will most likely not feel comfortable to use another smart racquet or another regular racquet for that matter since all their data is collected from the Babolat smart racquet. David Benady confirms this, in that creating direct digital relationships between consumers, and the product (plus the brand), makes it harder for consumers to switch to other products. He then goes on to explain that products like the smart racquet allow Babolat to build profiles of user behaviour which was previously unobtainable data, including their style of play, how often tennis is played, and insights into where the customer is at in their tennis journey (whether they are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player).

I’d love to hear what you have to say about the smart racquet! Would you use it? Or are you concerned about Babolat’s access to your data? If you ask me, I think it sounds like an amazing product which would greatly improve my game, although it would be nice if users were given the option to make data private rather than accessible for others to see (including Babolat). Having said that, I would absolutely love to give it a try!

Australian Open 2015 Serves An Ace With Its Use Of Social Media

Social media and its rise in popularity have completely evolved the sporting industry today. With the growing use of internet on mobile devices and the immediacy of producing and sharing content globally, it’s no wonder sporting teams and athletes are getting on board the social media wagon. It gives sporting organisations the opportunities to reach new markets and develop broader and larger fan bases through live updates, news articles, photos, videos, competitions, events, and the list goes on. To be more specific, let’s have a look at the stats:

  • 80% of fans use social media while they are watching sporting events
  • 20% of fans invite friends to sporting events via social media

The most popular content is accessed via social networks where:

  • 51% follow teams and leagues
  • 46% follow individual players
  • 48% watch video highlights
  • 48% read written articles

Benefits of social media use (within the sporting industry)

There are many reasons as to why each sport should integrate social media into their strategies in order to remain popular with fans and competitive with other sporting teams, and athletes. These include:

  • Increase in brand (team and/or individual athlete) exposure and reach through fans’ growing use of social media
  • Retains fan loyalty through interaction and engagement such as constant updates, competitions, give-aways, video interviews etc.
  • Social media bridges the gap between expensive sporting events (which fans may not be able to afford) and free exposure of social media where fans still feel involved through live updates and scores
  • Promotes awareness of the brand including sporting event dates, ticket sales, information on the team or athlete
  • Promotes products or services of the sporting team or individual where fans can purchase sporting merchandise or experiences such as valet parking and dining before a match – these can be purchased either through social media platforms or the main sporting website and can lead to an increase in revenue

Risks of social media use (within the sporting industry)

As shown above, several advantages exist in the sporting industry’s use of social media, although disadvantages do also exist including:

Negative feedback – any sporting organisation needs to ensure they regulate their use of social media to ensure appropriate messages are being sent out to fans. This includes messages which send out a message which isn’t intended for example Liverpool’s post below:

Liverpool-FC

Although the sporting organisation behind the team claimed to post this tweet to find out who fans thought should be the club’s new manager, it sent out a vibe that Liverpool were that desperate to find a manager, they called on fans for their opinions. Therefore, even though sporting organisations may have a certain message they wish to communicate, another may be interpreted by the audience.

Here is another example, featuring skateboarder Tony Hawk, which demonstrates a disadvantage of social media for the sporting industry in that it can be damaging to a brand image.

tony hawk

Image via @tonyhawk on Instagram

The above post on Instagram displays Tony Hawk riding his skateboard whilst holding on to his daughter without any sort of protective helmet or safety gear on himself or his daughter. This is very damaging to his brand image as it shows he isn’t taking his own or his daughter’s safety very seriously. Hopefully no one got hurt…

Australian Open 2015 success

This brings me to the Australian Open this year and its use of social media in various ways throughout the event which led to the tournament’s highest attendance on record. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram were predominant social media platforms, as well as the official website and phone app which allowed fans and spectators keep up-to-date with the latest results and news. Fans were continuously encouraged to be interactive and get involved through the use of hashtags, selfies, competitions, and interactive stands at Melbourne Park where the event was held. Take a look at my video I made for a university assignment below to see in detail how the Australian Open this year was so successful with its use of social media:

Implications for the sporting industry

So what does all this mean for sporting organisations? What should sport teams and athletes be wary of when using social media? Here are a couple tips and tricks:

Focus on user engagement – make sure fans are constantly being kept engaged through daily updates and interaction such as asking questions and feedback on matches, holding competitions to win merchandise, being given prizes for tweeting about an event or posting a selfie (like how it was done at the Australian Open this year).

Regulate statuses and posts – this is important to ensure that what is put up on social media is relevant and appropriate to the sporting brand and athlete as negative backlash can occur if not careful, which can lead to a damaged brand image. A forward-thinking approach needs to be put into place which is demonstrated by the Football Association which banned players from tweeting 24 hours prior to a match. This was implemented in order to protect players, opposition teams, and related bodies.

With the popularity of social media, it is absolutely essential for sporting organisations to use social media as a marketing tool as they result in numerous benefits (when risks are monitored) for a sporting brand.

I’d love to hear what you think as a sporting fan. Is social media a great marketing tool for sporting organisations to use or should they focus on other marketing strategies? Was the Australian Open successful this year with its use of social media in your eyes? Let me know in the comments below!

Goodbye Parma, It Was Nice Eating You

Food porn. A term dedicated to taking pictures of amazing looking food and posting it on social media platforms, in particular Instagram. Foodies of Melbourne aren’t simply going to restaurants and cafes to eat, oh no. Times have changed, the purpose is now to take amazing filtered photos of good-looking food to post on social media. The most important thing isn’t to eat something that tastes good, it’s about eating something that looks deliciously good.

If we’re honest with ourselves, what do we mostly see on Instagram? Sure, there are heaps of different posts – family, friends, gym workouts, bikini bods, pretty clouds, and pets but food is also a subject to photograph which is pretty up there on the Insta scale.

This leads me on to my next point, sure its nice taking pictures of well-presented food but how about dishes that don’t look as good?? How about the ones that no matter how hard you try, they still don’t look as good as a braised pork belly with potato relish salad, garnished with a red cabbage and south american pea puree? Our favourite pub meal, the classic chicken parmigiana is a victim of this.

#chicken #parmigiana

A post shared by Francesca🕊 (@_fsgia) on

Sure, a picture of a parma like above doesn’t look as good as say a breakfast pancake like the one below (courtesy of moi), but it might taste as good, if not better.

So what I’m trying to get at here is the power of social media on food. If a dish doesn’t look good, it most likely isn’t going up as an Instagram post or on a Facebook page. If a dish isn’t social media worthy it’s at risk of not being ordered, not being eaten, not being devoured. What I would recommend? Being a foodie myself, it seems to be all about presentation nowadays which is now what restaurants need to focus on, otherwise? Loss of customers, that’s right people may decide to not come and eat at your food parlour, and let’s not forget the extinction and the end of not-as-nice looking dishes.

So tell me, are you a food porn fanatic? Do YOU post pictures of food that looks so good it could walk the runway? Let me know in the comments below. Also, follow me on Insta and I’ll follow you back, I’d love to see those food porn pics of yours.

Cover photo courtesy of: http://pixshark.com/food-collage-art.htm