Frustrated sport fans weighed down by England’s early World Cup exit are now happily able to invest their enthusiasm into the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
However, while the summer of sport continues and Union Jacks wave on, ads around the tennis tournament are notably less celebrity driven than those relating to the World Cup, but not to their detriment.
While it may not be an all-singing, all-dancing visual feast, Sports Direct’s campaign for sports brand Slazenger is focused and simplistic, in a style befitting to the tradition and gentlemanly conduct associated with the tournament.
Created by Antidote, the static-image campaign focuses on the brand’s status as official ball supplier to Wimbledon since 1902, marking a whopping 112-year partnership. The image is a Wimbledon-branded Slazenger ball about to touch down on the white lines of a lawn court and a strap states: ‘The focus of every point since 1902.’ The ad also references ‘The longest partnership in sporting history’.
Speaking about the campaign, Vincent Smith, associate director, Sports Direct/Slazenger, says: “At 112 years, it’s the longest partnership in sporting history so we wanted to celebrate this in a simple and confident way.”
The ad, which is running on billboard posters around London, digital banners, in Sports Direct and Lillywhites stores and on the outside back cover of the Wimbledon programme, as well as specialist racketsport stores PWP and Racket Centre, does exactly that, a refreshing departure from other sports ads’ reliance on animation or expensive athlete endorsement.
Antidote said that rather than focus explicitly on making sales, the ad was designed to highlight the Slazenger and Wimbledon story. It’s a subtle approach that is apt for an event that is more about sporting brilliance than brash glamour – and not a bite in sight.