B&T sat down with Matt Granger, Nine’s director of sales of Sport, to chat about the network’s big plans for Tennis in 2023.
There’s no doubt that the 2022 Australian Tennis was the perfect storm. Ash Barty won, and Dylan Alcott retired on a high. It was magic, and it drew in huge numbers for the network.
So, where does Nine take the Tennis from here? Naturally, everyone’s on a bit of a high, meaning brands are very interested in aligning themselves with The Australian Open and Nine.
Granger is already pretty chuffed with how Nine’s Australian Open has utilised brands.
He told B&T, “Kia has a strong association with the Australian Open, and they’ve built a brand connection. We’ve been really proud of how we’ve continued to evolve working with them and with Tennis Australia.
“But also what we’ve done with UberEats, was groundbreaking when we first brought that to life and then what we did this year with Visit Victoria, and how we built a campaign solution to get people back to visit Victoria to visit.
“I could give you thousands of examples of brand and campaign successes, but what it is always about is, how can we work with partners in a meaningful way? And how can we amplify the experience for the audience?”
Granger feels the best way brands can connect with audiences is through having fun, getting creative and occasionally taking the piss out of themselves.
Hence, why Menulog’s snappy and clever response to the negative reviews of its Katy Perry ad via Thinkerbell and Um has won the Nine’s State Of Originality and took home $1 million.
Granger explained: “It’s an example of a brand taking the temperature in the room and having fun with it.
“We are always trying to remind brands of the power of creativity. Here at Nine, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and the way we cover Tennis is a great example of that. Yes, it’s about broadcasting analyse and tennis, but it’s also about having fun, and we want brands to embrace that.”
Granger is also acutely aware that The Australian Open provides the perfect storm for advertisers to connect with all types of demos. People are home, on holiday, and often relaxing in front of the television.
Granger explained: “Eeryone’s on holiday, and it is an opportunity for brands to tap into that audience.”
But does Granger have any concerns that the Summer of 2023 won’t live up to the hype? Barty has retired, after all.
Granger is naturally optimistic and excited for what 2023 brings; he said, “Who knows, what other talented stories are going to unfold?
“There’s no doubt that Barty and Alcott both had amazing moments, but even if you take some of that audience growth out. We are seeing people coming to tennis and growing its natural form.”