SBD/August 5, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tennis Canada Debuts Youth Ad Campaign Seeking To Draw Hockey Fans' Attention

Tennis Canada’s new ad campaign is "part of a longstanding effort to get children involved in the sport, and it is doing so with a friendly jab at our national obsession" of hockey, according to Susan Krashinsky of the GLOBE & MAIL. In the ads, a "despondent little boy emerges from the penalty box, picks up a puck, and chucks it into the stands." A goalie "sighs as a shot glides pathetically slowly into her net." The tagline of the ads, which began airing nationally last weekend during Rogers Cup broadcasts, is "not every kid in Canada wants to play hockey." Tennis Canada is "trying to rebrand, using marketing to fight off the sport’s image as a hobby reserved for the country-club set." Tennis Canada data shows that 80% of participation "happens on public courts." Tennis Canada data also shows that only 24% of Canadians "age six to 11 have played the game." Statistics Canada data shows that tennis "does not even make the top 10 most practised sports among children." The new ad campaign "taps into Canada’s passion for hockey to grab viewers’ attention." Tennis Canada President & CEO Michael Downey said, "We know it’s going to get some attention -- and that’s good. We’re standing up for our sport." As Tennis Canada "continues its advertising, it sees an opportunity of courting new Canadians, from countries where hockey does not have as high a profile" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/3).
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