Event Assets: A Guest Post

Dayton, OH--Tennis tournaments have some of the largest numbers of fan attendance in sporting events. Top players in tennis sell lots of tickets. Some of the top names in the sport like Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens & Rafael Nadal draw big spectator crowds at tennis stadiums world wide. The business of tennis is big and growing.

Let's look at the numbers. According to guinness world records the highest attendance for a single tennis match was 35,681 spectators to see Kim Clijsters play Serena Williams on 8 July 2010.

Larger tennis sporting events see gate ticket sales for the entire event of 200,000 to 400,000 + from tennis fans who want to experience these events live at court side.

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and its grass courts and tradition make it a must see for most tennis fans.

The sport of Tennis has a global following and is perhaps one of the most glamorous media spectacles. The tournaments are scheduled all over the world and it has spawned superstar players who have a celebrity like following. The business side of the sport is worth billions of dollars in merchandizing, sponsorships, media broadcasting and tickets. The tennis equipment is sold all over the world and is one of the most lucrative merchandizing business.

A recent study in America showed that Tennis is among the top 5 sporting events in terms of commercial appeal and fan following. The profile gets a major boost during the four Grand Slam events that are the most prestigious and marquee tournaments of the tennis calendar. The game has indeed come a long way from the 18th century origins which was started on the croquet grounds of Birmingham in England. The popularity of the game is attributed to

• Global media attention and increase in the number of tournaments and matches splayed each year

• Superstar status of the top players that have become sports icons

• Brand endorsements of not just tennis related products but a diversified portfolio of consumer items like cars, food products and even high-end couture

The Merchandizing Business - Global Sales of Tennis Equipment

A very large part of the success of tennis as a sport is due to the merchandizing of tennis products. There are stores all over the world that sell tennis clothing, racquets, balls and shoes both online and offline. The endorsement of superstars like world No. 1 Roger Federer has had a huge impact on the sales of tennis products. There are many products that have been specially designed keeping his image and lifestyle in mind.

13 official suppliers, including Rolex and IBM
6,000 staff (200 for the rest of the year)
15,000 bananas eaten by players
28,000kg of strawberries sold
491,084 total attendance (2014)
1.8m Prize for the winners of both men's and ladies' singles
champions (2015)
473m page impressions on Wimbledon.com (2014)

Wimbledon has its place as the world's top tennis tournament but In the United States some of the highest attendance for tennis tournaments are at:

  • RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas
  • Baton Rouge Pro Tennis Classic
  • Indian Wells Tennis Masters
  • Miami Open
  • Nordic Naturals Challenger
  • Hall of Fame Tennis Championships
  • BB&T Atlanta Open
  • Citi Open
  • MUBADALA Silicon Valley Classic San Jose, CA
  • Mercury Insurance Open
  • Winston-Salem Open Winston-Salem, NC
  • Connecticut Open New Haven, CT
  • US Open - (The US Open, the biggest pro tennis event in the United States)
  • The Western and Southern Open
  • Laver Cup

Global spending on amateur and professional tennis tournaments, leagues and sanctioning bodies totaled $801 million in 2016, up 4.2 percent from 2015, according to IEG research. Brands such as Nike, Avon, Evian, Tag Heuer, American Express, Porsche, Nike, Wilson, JPMorgan Chase, PepsiCo’s Gatorade, IBM have all been a part of tennis.

Top Companies Sponsoring Tennis
Corona Extra

Most Prevalent Categories Sponsoring Tennis
Sports Apparel-Equipment

The business of tennis is now making good on its commercial potential in the new era of tennis marketing. 4 Factors have fueled the increased corporate spending on tennis marketing. 

  1. Growing popularity of tennis
  2. Global marketing platforms
  3. More focus on social media
  4. Stadium upgrades

Tennis allows a unique intimacy between players and spectators, usually there are two fierce competitors trying to win a match in one the most important tournaments in the world, so it's exciting to watch and intimate at the same time. Tennis is a global, year-round game, with short breaks between matches that work perfectly for corporate branding and marketing.

New Younger Spectator Fans
Attracting a younger spectator audience of new tennis fans in their 20s is the goal. Many of these younger fans may not have grown up appreciating the sport but are now realizing the great and dynamic value it represents in sports entertainment.

Part of attracting a younger crowd is also the ability to engage them, everyone has a smart phone now, combining digital signage and mobile marketing is next level of corporate branding for live experiential marketing activation at tennis events.

When looking at smartphone owners by age, the highest penetration are Millennials aged 18-24, 98% of whom own smartphones. Millennials aged 25-34 are right on their heels, with a 97% ownership rate, followed by Gen Xers aged 35-44 at 96%, making smartphones nearly seen and taken everywhere to include tennis sporting events.

Onsite Event Activation Experiential Marketing
Onsite event activation for top experiential marketing agencies with a client list of potential sponsors for tennis sporting events becomes a key factor.

Corporate brands have something meaningful to say and now are able to create memorable experiences through mobile that tennis fans can relate to ... and associate with the great time they had at the event. This tactic has been a successful strategy, and now a mainstay, for the majority of live event experiential marketing brand activations. Everyone has a smart phone now, but they all have one thing in common... POWER. If the phone goes dead from lack of battery power tennis fans cannot, text, call, take photos, take videos, share your event on social or spread the word about about your great brand.

Guest Post:  Vic Garlington


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