The ATP has unveiled a new brand identity alongside plans for a global marketing campaign supporting the 63 tournaments that make up its year-round tour.
The work, which calls on audiences to “Love it all,’ is set to be rolled out worldwide from next year, with tennis chiefs claiming it represents a “transformative” approach to marketing the men’s game to the next generation of fans.
It comes amid ongoing discontent in the corridors of global tennis related to the International Tennis Federation (ITF)’s overhaul of its rival Davis Cup property – and with men’s tennis facing the end of a golden era as the generation of stars led by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokavic and Andy Murray head towards retirement.
Media were given a sneak preview of both the campaign and new visual identity at The O2 in London, where the Nitto ATP Finals is currently taking place.
Both projects were delivered by London creative agency MATTA, which won what George Ciz, ATP VP of marketing and business development, described as two “very competitive,” separate global pitches.
Commenting on the work, Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president, said: “These ambitious and innovative initiatives will enable us to better engage and inspire sports fans around the world – from hardcore tennis followers to the more casual fans, who might currently only follow our sport during the Nitto ATP Finals or Grand Slam tournaments.
“This is about showcasing the fantastic entertainment and high-intensity action that is on offer all year round – raising awareness, driving engagement across digital and TV, and packing out stadiums wherever we go.
“We’re taking a bold approach in everything we do at the ATP, from our pioneering broadcast partnership with Amazon Prime to the innovations we’ve been testing out at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. It’s an exciting time for the sport – with a mix of unbelievable legends still at the top of their game and a next generation of stars emerging – so this is a great time to be engaging new, younger fans around the world.”
The re-brand will see the name of the ‘ATP World Tour,’ shortened to ‘ATP Tour’. It includes a new logo and distinctive supporting visual assets, which seek to convey the “energy and movement” of world-class tennis.
Speaking to media, Ciz emphasised the flexible nature of the tools, which are designed to adapt to the look and feel of individual tournaments and partners. In particular, the new mark has the potential to accommodate partner “infills”.
Also included are new identities for the Nitto ATP Finals, Next Gen ATP Finals, ATP 1000s, ATP 500s and ATP 250 tournaments, as well as over 100 unique “player profile” brands for use both in event presentation and digital and TV marketing activity delivered through specific ATP tournaments.
Ciz said the emphasis was on attracting new, younger fans from within the ATP’s “sweetspot” 25-40 age demographic. The Tour currently has a fanbase with an average age of 61.
Ciz added: “We needed to ensure that our creative is really authentic and that it resonates with our target audiences, especially younger fans.
“The result is something fun and raw which really conveys the energy and movement we believe makes tennis the most exciting sport in the world. These changes are all about putting the game at the heart of our content – letting the unbelievable action speak for itself.”
Matt Hunt, MATTA’s strategy and brand director, commented: “For casual tennis fans there is so much more to explore beyond the Slams, from dramatising the player narratives that emerge, to the fact that fan favourites are followed as much for their personal qualities as their nationality, which is all combined with the unbelievable athleticism and skill they display week in week out. We needed to create a fresh and flexible creative vehicle to convey this breadth and encourage casual fans to love it all.”
“The research we conducted among lighter tennis fans highlighted the need to continue to improve the spontaneous association of the ATP with the sport, so integrating a dynamic and powerful tennis player into the typography was the perfect short cut to achieve this.”
The launch of the new brand follows the second staging of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last week, which offered a test-bed for a number of potential new rules, formats and technologies.
On Thursday, the ATP will reveal more detail on plans for its new, season-opening team tennis property – the ATP World Team Cup – which is set to run in 2020 and will be viewed in the context of the ITF’s Davis Cup reforms.