Adrenalin

Adrenalin Fall 2016

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17 F A L L 2 0 1 6 | A D R E N A L I N A D R E N A L I N M A G . C A JONATHAN CARRIGAN Senior Director, Business Intelligence and Platforms, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment MITCH THOMPSON Sport and Cause Marketing Consultant, T1 Agency RICHARD ELLIOTT Co-publisher, Ignite and ADRENALIN magazines DEBBIE VAN DER BEEK Co-publisher, Ignite and ADRENALIN magazines ANGELA KRYHUL, Editor, ADRENALIN Angela: I've heard the word "intimacy" used to describe Tennis Canada's strategy. Gavin, what is your organization learning about fan engagement? Gavin Ziv: We've spent several years trying to grow the game of tennis in Canada, trying to get more people to play it. But one of the insights we recently had was that there are many tennis fans who don't play tennis. They like tennis, they watch tennis, they buy merchandise, they follow the players and they go to events. That insight more than doubled our audience. But we had to figure out how to speak to them face-to-face and how to connect with them through the use of technology, because they don't all come to our tournaments. So we came up with the Get Closer campaign. It's a theme of intimacy—getting closer to the sport, closer to athletes, closer to our tournaments. Debbie: Do you track people who come to the event and enjoy the festival, the activities that are happening outside the stadium? Gavin: Definitely. We're doing some touch point mapping this year so that we can analyze all the touch points where we speak to our customers, whether it's when they use our app, go to our web- site to buy tickets or show up at the [event's] front gate. Then we map everything they do on-site in regards to tennis, retail, and food and beverage. Angela: Do you have visitors who come just for the festival experience? Gavin: Currently, you buy a ticket for the main stadium and you also get to experience every- thing we have to offer on the grounds. But now we're getting to a point where people want to buy grounds passes and just enjoy that outside experience, that festival area. Gord: It raises the question of what is the key driver. Why does someone go to that event? It's not just about buying a ticket so that you can sit in a stadium. You're creating another, very intimate experience where people can be up-close, watching players practicing or giving autographs. Those fans are still interested in tennis, but it's a different road to get there and it's a family experience now. Rick Traer: Are the players generally pretty accommodating at making themselves available to meet fans? Gavin: Definitely. It's actually mandated by the rules; they have to do so many social appearances at each tournament. They meet fans as well as doing meet-and-greets with sponsors. But they really want to work with us because they have their own personal brands, and that includes community involvement and being active on social media. HOW TENNIS CANADA GETS CLOSER Visitors to Tennis Canada's Rogers Cup tournaments in Toronto (men's) and Montreal (women's), typically stay on-site for five or six hours. This past summer in Toronto, the festival grounds surrounding the main stadium featured dozens of activations—from contests, video games and table tennis to retail pop-ups, food trucks and sample stations for wine and chocolate. Visitors could also get closer to celebrity players by grabbing a courtside seat at one of the more intimate outdoor courts where players practiced between matches. THE FAN ENGAGEMENT CHALLENGE Watch the Get Closer video. Scan the QR code above or visit adrenalinmag.ca. CRAFTING AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES

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