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Brands quick to capitalise on Murray halo-effect

Sports brands, gyms and retailers are to pounce on the surge in interest in tennis that Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win has caused with tactical marketing campaigns.

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Brands are ramping up their marketing activity to exploit excitement around Murray’s win.

The activity aims to capitalise on the halo-effect from Murray after he beat Novak Djokovic to become the first British male in 77 years to win the tournament.

Head, who supply the Scot’s rackets, has stepped up its digital activity in the 24 hours since the win to drive awareness around its tennis equipment range. The sports brand is running Facebook ads, YouTube virals and Twitter promotions across Europe as well as buying ads in the UK’s only tennis magazine Tennis Head. It is also working with retail partners TennisNuts.com and Sports Direct to provide promotional content around its products.

Andy Catchpole, category manager for racket sports at Head, says the win is “massive” for the brand in terms of expanding reach in the UK. It is hoped Murray’s win can help it push sales ahead of main tennis equipment rivals Wilson and Babolat.

He adds: “We’ve been lucky over the last four grand slams because we’ve had three head-to head finals. Djokovic and Murray have played out three of the last Grand Slam finals. As a brand that’s massive because we’ve already got the exposure there. We’re hoping that tennis clubs are ready for the increased interest and that then will push on and filter down to the brand in terms of racket sales.”

Elsewhere Nufield Health is seizing on the opportunity to drive applications to its Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)-backed Nuffield Tennis Academy. The health and fitness chain is offering free tennis sessions and trials for parents as well as ramping up the marketing for its summer camps and coaching courses.

Jenny Loughton, tennis manager for the Nuffield Tennis Academy, says: “We always plan promotions during Wimbledon because we know there’s going to be an increase in interest in tennis. With Murray winning it allows us to reach out to a broader group of people and get parents more involved.”

Health and fitness chain David Lloyd is pursuing a similar strategy by offering tennis fans free day passes. The company is running a print campaign to launch the promotion. Rival Virgin Active is also running activity to promote its courts in partnership with British tennis star Laura Robson. Additionally, The health club operator signed a three-year deal with the LTA in March that will see it invest more than £1m into 81 new courts.

The LTA will be hoping the win, combined with activity from brands, will drive grassroots participation in the sport after it was warned by governing body Sport England last month (18 June) to boost numbers or have its funding cut. The organisation is  preparing activity to celebrate the win later in the week. It declined to give further details on the activity.

Readers' comments (2)

  • The surge in interest is great news for the sport because it should mean more talent coming through in years to come - and therefore more champions like Andy. Once you get to that level though, even as a young player it can become an expensive sport, which is why early financial support is vital. If people are interested in helping the next generation of talent in British tennis, they should contact the charity SportsAid, which works with the LTA to help young players. Thanks to our supports we have helped 29 of them this year already.

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  • There is nothing new, nor revolutionary about health & fitness brands (such as the medical sounding Nuffield Health and the cost pompous David Lloyd) pushing tennis to tennis players around Wimbledon. In the case of Nuffield LTA endorsements might help raise awareness of the brand, in the case of David Lloyd it's more a case of 'sshhh don't mention the LTA' (they recently lost their preferred status arrangement in favour of Virgin) and 'don't ever discuss the price' (you'll find a free month comes with less than fluffy handcuffs.

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