The candidacy of Under Armour's Ultimate Intern Team Social Media Specialist Maggie Chang.
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In order to advertise the new products developed by Under Armour in its tennis line, sponsorship is necessary. Looking at who Under Armour sponsors right now for tennis, I only found one that was showcased—a 12 year old who is pinned to be a superstar by the name of Maria Shishkina. Yet there were no male tennis players.
Here’s why sponsorship, especially of tennis players is important.
AIR TIME OF THE BRAND ON TELEVISION
During a football game, how often do you see the logo of whoever makes the jersey? Rarely. A minimal pan to the head of the quarterback that maybe gives a peak at a little Under Armour logo. Fun fact: a professional football game only has 12 minutes of actual football—like the ACTUAL play of it. The rest of the three hours is given to huddles, timeouts, media timeouts, halftime, quarters, injuries…the list goes on and on. Twelve minutes!? That’s it!?
This is the thing about tennis. After each point, the camera always pans to the players. Whether they’re fixing their rackets, yelling at themselves, quietly patting themselves on the back for a well-played point…you get the picture. The point is in a tennis match on television, brands get a lot of time because players get a lot of face time. I am an avid tennis fan so perhaps I don’t count but if you asked me right now who sponsors each of the top 10 players in the world, I guarantee I can get at least 8 of them right. It’s because during Grand Slams like the Australian Open, I can’t help but notice these things as the camera closes in on them.
And shoes get exceptional time as well. ESPN does a lot of playback motion of feet because footwork is extremely important in tennis. It’s to the benefit of the shoemaker.
Although tennis may not be the most widely watched sport in America, it is popular around the rest of the world, guaranteeing Under Armour to be a known brand internationally if choosing this path.
A TIME OF AN AMERICAN LULL; LOOKING FOR YOUTH
Right now in tennis, the American men (and women) do not have the tennis gods on their side. Serbia, Spain and Switzerland have the luck on their side. No American has won a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick in 2003. This drought is too much for American tennis to handle. It’s time to look at the next generation of players. The next generation, like 12 year old Maria Shishkina. Or even the more near future—graduating American college tennis players who are going pro. Because of NCAA rules, they can’t accept contracts now but once they graduate, Under Armour can swoop in, pitch to them how an American brand wants to sponsor an American player in order to bring home another Grand Slam for the USA. Under Armour’s mission is to make athlete’s better. And right now, the USA needs that “better” motivation.
THE INTERNATIONAL SCOPE
But even if Under Armour is an American brand, why not spread their wings? Why not go international? Tennis is an outlet to do so as international stars, for the last few years, have dominated the sport. Tennis is important in other places around the world and I think it’s important for Under Armour to go out their and make a statement about that: “Hey world! We hear you! This sport is important! Now let us show you how we can make you even better at it with what we have to offer.” Because tennis is a world sport and the tournament schedule is around the world, a sponsorship of a player would mean Under Armour would have a brand ambassador that would be traveling to a different country almost every two weeks. That’s incredible if you think about it! What better way to show each country what you’re made of than going there? Let’s make the scope even wider than it already is, Under Armour.
You can do this…with tennis and the sponsorship of players.