As the country heats up, the days lengthen and the familiar thwack of tennis balls can be heard in every park. Usually this would be a period which would see West London, and the rest of the UK, caught up in Wimbledon fever. But, as the lockdown extends and the tournament remains cancelled, LTA wants to open up the sport to the entire nation.
A new campaign from The&Partnership ‘Play Your Way’ urges the nation to ‘Play like no-one’s watching. Hit like no-one’s judging.’ It embodies the organisation’s desire to dismantle the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding the game and demonstrate that it is an immensely accessible game; by its very nature designed to be enjoyed by all.
The campaign shows tennis balls flying through gardens, into rivers, down the side of sheds or even wedged into the Wimbledon roof, a backdrop of modern Britain providing the setting. The importance is placed not on the skill of the player but rather on the fun that can come from simply participating.
Play Your Way went from script to screen in just twelve days as the team navigated an ever-extending lockdown period, shooting for two days across 25 locations to capture the breadth of British tennis playing. Media was handled by the Kite Factory who made sure the campaign reached different audiences around the country via smart digital targeting, as well as with presence on national broadcast channels.
Richard Daish, Marketing & Commercial Director at LTA, explained: “Tennis has always been a fun, engaging sport, but not everyone feels like they can play. ‘Play Your Way’ will show that tennis can be played in any way, by any one, no matter their experience or understanding of the game. The campaign gives us a chance to drive people to the entry points of tennis.”
Yan Elliot, Executive Creative Director at The&Partnership London believes that it was about taking the stigma away from the feeling of not being very good: “Our message is clear; get out there and give it all you’ve got. If it happens to stay in the court, then so much the better, but don’t stress about it. Just play your way.”
This summer it seems as though the focus will be on what you can do in your back garden, in your local park or just simply on the pavement. The cultural firepower of sport has long extended beyond the professional game. Play Your Way is a joyful celebration of playing just for fun, to enjoy the feeling of picking up a racket and just having a go.