PRESS RELEASE — The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour today wrapped production of “Making of a Hero,” a series of online documentary films and viral videos featuring the Tour’s stars of today and tomorrow. The film series — set to launch in the coming weeks — marks the third stage of the Tour’s global marketing campaign, “Looking for a Hero?” and represents the central piece of its digital component, which will also include an online game and viral videos.
The “Making of a Hero” online films will add a significant push to the Tour’s global marketing efforts in the digital space and will be featured on the Tour’s soon-to-be-relaunched website. The film series will also be distributed via online community sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Sixteen of the Tour’s global superstars and next generation players participated in the digital campaign shoot, including Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Elena Dementieva, Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Nadia Petrova, Marion Bartoli, Alona Bondarenko, Patty Schnyder, Dominika Cibulkova, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Peng Shuai, Sania Mirza, Aleksandra Wozniak and the doubles team of Kveta Peschke and Lisa Raymond.
“We are excited to bring the ‘Looking for a Hero?’ marketing campaign into the digital and social media space,” said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour President Stacey Allaster. “Through these online films, viral videos and gaming platform, fans of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour will have a unique opportunity to engage with our players, and witness their heroes’ off court lives and super-human talents in a never-before seen way. This initiative is a great opportunity to engage new fans within online communities and increase exposure for our sport and players.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in every stage of the “Looking for a Hero?” marketing campaign and more than ever I enjoy not only the creative process, but the unique way of being able to connect with the fans of women’s tennis,” said Venus Williams. “This is a great campaign for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and it’s another sign that women’s tennis is spreading its wings to attract a new generation of fans.”
Caroline Wozniacki added: “I loved participating in the digital campaign and think that this is a unique and very creative way to allow fans to share fun content. I look forward to seeing the campaign come to life and hit the digital universe in a few months.”
The “Making of a Hero” online film series will consist of short films based on the lives of the Tour’s brightest stars who are superheroes in their own right, and give fans a rare glimpse into their lives — from their beginnings playing tennis at an early age to becoming international tennis superstars, with all the glory and struggles that come along with the journey. The films offer viewers an unprecedented unique glimpse into the lives of women tennis players and highlight their special talents and superhuman skills. Shot in an avant-garde documentary style, the films will string together stolen moments that will bring the viewer closer to the players and their lives on Tour. Featuring enticing off-court interviews, edge of your seat physical action, and behind the scenes features far away from the court, the films will give tennis fans a rare look into the lives of professional tennis players.
In addition to filming the online films series, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour shot a series of viral videos, designed to portray the incredible superhuman on-court skills of its stars, including their speed, power and accuracy. Additionally, the Tour’s digital marketing campaign includes a virtual “Hero Power Cards” trading card game, an online tennis competition where fans will be able to compete against one another using interactive trading cards of the Tour’s current roster of stars. The online game will be unveiled to coincide with the relaunch of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour website and the grand prize winner will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Award-winning UK-based digital agency AnalogFolk was selected by the Tour as its agency of record to create and develop the digital elements of the Tour’s “Looking for a Hero?” campaign throughout 2009, including the filming conducted in Charleston.
The first phase of the multi-million dollar “Looking for a Hero?” campaign, which featured such superstars as Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova, was shot in Rome and New York in 2008. The television, print, and digital advertisements, along with user-generated content initiatives, became the most dynamic and ambitious marketing drive in the Tour’s 35-year history. A second stage print advertising shoot concluded a few weeks ago during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and brought to 57 the roster of current and rising stars of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour featured in the campaign.
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