Home to up-and-coming young talents like Naomi Osaka and legendary champions Venus and Serena Williams, the Women’s Tennis Association has launched its first rebrand in ten years with the aim of telling the athletes’ personal stories and celebrating their players, who “are hotly contested and live fully. ”
With a new logo and a redesigned website, the global brand overhaul begins today under the motto “WTA For The Game”. From Landor Australia, the work “immerses itself in the driving force behind our players,” said Micky Lawler, WTA President and Head of Marketing Initiatives. “It’s the fire starter, the conversation starter.”
The ads – with Osaka, Coco Gauff, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek, among others – introduce the association’s new image and apologetic attitude.
“This is for the women who broke barriers back then so that we can break records today,” says the spokesperson for the 30-second spot. “This is for those who have told us we can’t and for those who have never stopped believing. This is for the grind, to be better today than yesterday and for those who will define tomorrow. “
“WTA For The Game,” which includes a one-minute heroic play, takes up the story of social activism by the group that came from the “original nine” members, including Billie Jean King.
The goal is also to get behind the stats by having video vignettes from players like Bethanie Mattek-Sands peek into their extravagant outfits on the pitch and their battle against serious injuries and Ashleigh Barty talking about the importance of her family.
“Every athlete has a story and this is our opportunity to tell those stories,” Lawler said. “It gives us the opportunity to humanize our players and to complete what the fans see on the pitch.”
The campaign with roots that go back two years should always start in 2020. Although the pandemic caused the game to be delayed for months, it didn’t change strategy or timing, said Lawler, who noted that For The Game’s debut “re-energized us and put us in a positive place”.
And luckily for the WTA, the team had completed photo and video shoots before Covid shut down.
The players themselves, many of whom are social media influencers and activists like Osaka, a current Adweek cover story, will share the spots and other materials.
“The fans are passionate about individual skill and athleticism, but they also invest deeply in what motivates these high-profile women on and off the pitch,” said Jessica Murphy, general manager of Landor Australia. “Exploring these driving forces – the similarities and differences – is a key element of the brand.”
The campaign liberally uses the WTA’s purple color scheme, accentuated by box-shaped white stripes that mimick a tennis court. The updated logo highlights the silhouette of a player in the center of the serve, which is not only a unique step in tennis but also a linchpin of the sport.
“It’s very hard to learn and a very important part of the game,” Lawler said. “It’s also a time when the player is in control.”
The WTA, which attracts more than 700 million television viewers annually to its events, used some of its time during the lockdown to forge a closer relationship with its male counterpart, the ATP.
The two associations have jointly created a range of digital content called Tennis United and worked on the groundbreaking Real Heroes project, which involved the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and other entertainment companies and professional sports leagues. They also worked with a handful of tennis governing bodies to raise $ 6 million for players affected by the coronavirus.