ATP Invites Tennis Fans to ‘Feel It’

Men’s professional tennis is serving up a new image. The ATP next year will debut a $15 million ad campaign centered around the tagline “Feel it.” The rebranding effort is meant to better promote the sport globally and broaden the appeal of men’s pro tennis by making it easier to follow.

The governing body of tennis conducted two years of research to come up with ways to improve its marketing and enjoyment of the sport itself. Among the major changes: installing mandatory commitments for players at select tournaments and implementing a new ranking system.

In the ads, No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain, Switzerland’s Roger Federer (No. 2), and Serb Novak Djokovic (No. 3) will be spotlighted along with the many exotic locations where the tour is held, including Chennai, India, and Zagreb, Croatia. The tour name will also change from ATP to ATP World Tour and a new “Feel it” logo will be unveiled.

TV, print and online ads will begin breaking overseas next month. The U.S. campaign will debut in March. One ad reads: “ATP World Tour. Feel the ferocity. One tour, one champion, follow the greatest tennis stars as they battle to become the 2009 World Tour Champion.” Junction Design, London, handles.

The changes are part of an effort to continue to fuel the growth of the sport. The ATP has added three new tournaments to its schedule. Barclays has come aboard as the title sponsor of the year-end championship, the Barclays ATP World Tour Final, which will be held in London in November.

Leading up to the finals, there will be three tiers of events: The ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250. The names represent the amount of South African Airway 2009 ATP Rankings points the winner can achieve. The eight players with the most points will compete for the title at the Barclays event.

“The marketing strategy announced today will help us to do just that by establishing a new, simplified tour structure that tells the best story of our global tour,” said ATP CMO Phil Anderton in a statement. “The ATP World Tour is undergoing huge change from next season, but it is change that will help unlock the potential within men’s professional tennis.”