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Blog post
June 24, 2019

Big brands and the Australian Open

Each year, the Australian Tennis Open brings record ticket sales with larger broadcast deals, more global partners, record sponsorship revenue and more digital interaction with fans.

In the recent 2019 tournament, a record 780,000+ fans attended the Open smashing the previous year’s attendance by a long shot. Broadcast numbers also exceeded expectations with a national audience reach of 14.482 million across the two-week tournament.

Being a partner or sponsor at the Australian Open provides numerous opportunities for brand exposure, share of voice, integrations, building strong consumer bases, and building long-term mutually beneficial partnerships.

It’s no surprise this year’s tournament was over-subscribed with partnership demands by both existing brands such as ANZ and KIA, and newer big brand players on the scene including AGL and Uber Eats. So, what did we learn?

Product placement is evolving
A brands ability to spend thousands of dollars over the course of a campaign is one of the more confident demonstrations of a brands health and vitality. Brand campaigns carry signals through media placement, production value, and through the choices made in their messaging.

In fact, the mere act of running an ad campaign or creating an interactive experience indicates a corporate belief in a product – and as consumers, we process these things regularly and subconsciously.

If the experience can be interactive and there’s motivation for consumers to share it on social media, it can increase a brand’s exposure and reach.

The prestige is immeasurable

Hosting or sponsoring any major sporting tournament such as the Australian Open carries significant prestige. Gone are the days of a single spot advertisement acting on its own – now it’s important to utilise the essence of a brands campaign (and in this case, link it to the philosophy of tennis) and have a multi-dimensional strategy.

Having access to this kind of exposure, enhances communications with global consumers and further expand the brands influence – it’s the ultimate advertising opportunity.

In 2018, the Australian Open generated $86 million in sponsorship revenue and $118 million in broadcasting income. The AO brand has a strong association with being world-class, popular and for high-quality tennis which is an indication as to why its significant and prestigious for brands to be involved with the Australian Open.

Creativity wins hearts and minds

We know that the most creative activations are the ones that stick in our minds.

Uber Eats divided viewers with its game-changing integration into the live tennis action. Tricking viewers into thinking they’re watching the live game, the Uber Eats ads pretend to return to the coverage of the game but then the player on court orders a delivery of food. 

This modern take on product placement was a fun, creative ad designed to both engage and entertain the audience.

We also saw KIA, a major sponsor of the Australian Open, execute both on-site and off-site activations surrounding the Open.

At Grand Slam Oval, fans tested their ‘Caraoke’ through augmented reality with Thanasi Kokkinakis and Daria Gavrilova – both up and coming Australian tennis players.

And for the first time, KIA also shared their activations outside of the grounds with live sites in Federation Square and test drives at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, concurrently releasing a ‘Get Mean’ campaign featuring Spanish Rafael Nadal recreating car noises.

Want to learn more about how to measure the effectiveness of your brand and communications activity? Let our team help you to showcase your impact, get in touch today.

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