Since 1905, the Australian Open (AO) has grown to become one of the most significant sporting events in the Southern Hemisphere. Nicknamed “the happy slam”, this Grand Slam event is the highest-attended tennis tournament in the world, with 812,000 attendees at the 2020 tournament.
And now, the 2023 AO tennis season has arrived, with many of the world’s top players and thousands of visitors watching them vying for Grand Slam glory. It is reported that AO23 promises to be bigger and better than ever!
However, while spectators flock to the tournament, brands and sponsors are busy reaching a much larger audience with just one push of a button. This is through strategic experiential marketing and engaging people’s senses to create an impactful experience that resonates far beyond those attending the Australian Open in person.
Last year’s attendees were 346,468, 67.5% local, 30.8% from intrastate and 1.8% from overseas. As of this year, Australian Open organisers have announced they aim to attract 900,000 fans over a three-week tennis and entertainment extravaganza.
As part of its ongoing expansion plans, the Australian Open will increase the number of attractions at Melbourne Park during qualifying week and week two. The tournament hopes to attract one million fans to the world’s most scenic tennis tournament. Thus, given these stats, the potential reach for all the participating brands will be enormous.
These people follow their favourite players or teams on social media, sharing their experiences with others on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. With millions of followers on these networks combined with traditional media coverage, there is a massive opportunity for brands to leverage this reach through targeted campaigns.
During the 2018 Australian Open, It’s estimated that over 25 million impressions were made, which shows how powerful these experiential marketing techniques can be when leveraged correctly. But it isn’t just about creating an experience that appeals to those attending in person. The Australian Open has a global viewership of nearly one billion, and savvy marketers understand how crucial it is to engage viewers worldwide with content tailored specifically for them.
According to AO, last year, there were:
- 5,227 posts on AO social media channels
- 312M video views across social platforms
- 57M videos viewed on TikTok
These numbers show how effectively brands can use large-scale events like The Australian Open to build their following.
Experiential marketing also has another benefit: it allows you to get creative and stand out from your competitors. By having engaging promotions or creative activations at events like the Australian Open, you can ensure your brand stands out amongst the crowd. It captures attention both onsite and offsite alike.
In 2020, we partnered with TLA Worldwide and Chemist Warehouse to bring to life their onsite chemist. We knew people would visit the store to buy bandaids, sun cream and all the essentials for their trip to the tennis! The brief was to create something unique and interactive to engage visitors whilst inside and have it related to tennis. Our team decked the chemist out with custom-designed and produced media walls and a custom-built video activation where people could experience what it is like to win the tennis and write on the camera screen like the pros!
This resulted in 7 281 videos with 12 418 shares and 897 826 social medial reach, definitely a massive reach! Attending the AO along with the video activation was indeed worth the investment.
We also partnered with KIA and The Natural Confectionery Company to bring to life their activation spaces with a shareable moment and a take-home for guests! User-generated content with branding, embedded hashtags and the best part – the ability for these brands to track their return on investment and campaign.
By creating unique initiatives like these at significant scale events like The Australian Open, brands have been consistently able to drive engagement among both existing client & fan bases and potential new ones – allowing them to have an immediate positive impact amongst thousands of people within seconds.
It’s easy to see why experiential marketing can have such an impact when done correctly! By pushing out creative campaigns through digital channels and executing an interactive physical experience during major sporting events such as The Australian Open, you can quickly generate immense interest across audiences – giving you maximum return on investment! The best part is – Social Exposure can take care of it all!