ATP Wants Fans to ‘Feel It’

NEW YORK For hardcore tennis fans, there’s nothing like the sudden sound of a ball being served into an opponent’s court.

And the Association of Tennis Professionals, the governing body of the men’s tennis circuit, knows full well the visceral connection fans have to their favorite players and the sport. That is why, in a bid to create buzz around men’s tennis, the ATP has launched a new advertising campaign called “Feel it.”

The campaign will pre-launch at the BNP Paribas Masters tournament in Paris and will subsequently be rolled out globally in 2008. The tournament kicks off on Oct. 29 and runs to Nov. 7.

Canadian agency Taxi 2 created the multimedia campaign, which includes TV spots, billboards, online banners, viral marketing, merchandising, fan giveaways and public relations.

The multi-million dollar effort features ATP stars such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray and James Blake.

To demonstrate the intensity and passion of the sport, Taxi 2 employed wild animals, fire and waves and presented the players as if they were engaged in gladiatorial combat.

“Anyone who has sat a few yards away when a player like Andy Roddick or Roger Federer serves a tennis ball knows there are few sports that can rival men’s tennis for sheer excitement, intensity and power,” said Phil Anderton, client CMO.

Paris, over the course of the next two weeks, will be rife with billboards, bus backs, player-based stunts, unique merchandise and TV spots for rights-holding broadcasters.