Legends of past and present – from Billie Jean King to Serena Williams – headline global campaign celebrating WTA’s four decades
From the WTA: (June 18, 2013) LONDON, UK – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the world’s leading global sport for women, today launched its “40 LOVE” global print, television and digital advertising campaign. The campaign is at the center of the WTA’s season-long integrated marketing and communications program launched in January that celebrates four decades of the WTA since its founding in 1973.
Featuring a cast of iconic tennis legends of the past and the present, the campaign release falls on the eve of WTA’s 40th birthday. On June 20, 1973, 62 female tennis players, led by Billie Jean King, came together in London just prior to Wimbledon, to officially create the Women’s Tennis Association.
Prior to the formation of the WTA in 1973, the annual prize money available to professional female tennis players was close to $2 million. Today it is $118 million, across WTA’s 54 tournaments in 33 countries and the four Grand Slams.
“One of the most powerful things about the WTA is how much our current generation of players is inspired by Billie Jean King and the rest of the game’s pioneers, who have paved the way for the success that the WTA is enjoying today,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the WTA.
“Has it really been 40 years?” asks WTA founder Billie Jean King in the new TV advertising spots. “What started as a few women and a dollar has grown to thousands, living the dream – our dream. We were athletes who wanted to compete – and along the way we made history, determined to win, not just for ourselves, but for women everywhere. We’ve come a long way, baby.”
With the headline “Forty Years of Breaking Barriers. Thank you for inspiring us,” the print element of the campaign features five of the WTA’s current superstars, each paired with a legend of the game in a one-page advertisement. Serena Williams echoes King; Maria Sharapova channels Monica Seles; Victoria Azarenka serves up Steffi Graf; Venus Williams mirrors Martina Navratilova; and Li Na is inspired by Chris Evert.
The 30- and 60-second TV spots “Give” and “Time Flies” feature emotive archive footage of the pioneers of the game and the current roster of stars, all of whom have achieved the World No.1 ranking or won multiple Grand Slam titles. Billie Jean King, fittingly, narrates the TV spots and tells the story of the formation of the WTA against a backdrop of four decades of championship highlights, along with focusing on the characteristics that make professional tennis players the best female athletes in the world: determination, commitment, courage, focus, and, most importantly, passion for the game.
The “40 LOVE” global advertising campaign is a part of a year-long celebration of the four decades of the WTA, which also includes a season-long promotion of the WTA’s historic milestones, headlined by a celebration of women’s tennis and the champions of the WTA at an event that will include the gathering of former World No.1’s in London on June 30, 2013. Other elements of the 40th anniversary season-long campaign include a digital program of online fan polls, top 40 lists and images, and historic moments of the WTA; a global tour of the famed Billie Jean King trophy to WTA events around the world; a commemorative WTA 40th anniversary book and video; unique content created for the WTA’s new TV magazine show and ePlayer; and a series of celebration events and promotions throughout the year at WTA events and around the Grand Slams.
Earlier this year, the WTA launched a new, special anniversary 40 LOVE logo to celebrate four spectacular decades of women’s tennis. This new mark is an extension of the current WTA logo, a distinctive and modern reminder of the captivating athleticism and excitement that has driven the international popularity and growth of women’s professional tennis and placed it firmly at the nexus of sport and entertainment.
Both the new “40 LOVE” print advertising campaign and the logo were created by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, a leading design agency which has created some of the most recognizable brand trademarks including Chase, Mobil, NBC, PBS, Armani Exchange, National Geographic, and Barney’s New York. The TV spots were produced by James Allen of Visual+Aid, Inc, who also worked on the WTA’s “Strong Is Beautiful” Celebrity Campaign launched in 2012.