Doner serves one up for Wilson

New Campaign Propels Launch of New Wilson BLX Tennis Racquets

(Southfield, Mich.) – Tennis king Roger Federer channels his inner sports psychologist to give courtside counsel to struggling players from an oversized, tennis-ball-yellow therapist couch in a campaign to promote the Wilson BLX tennis racquets. And he gives the first look at the effort on his own Facebook fan page.

The multimedia campaign for Wilson Racquet Sports created by Doner makes a simple promise: the Wilson BLX racquet helps you have more feel for the ball and more feel for the game.

“As the undisputed expert in feel, Roger Federer demonstrates how Wilson understands that feel is everything in tennis and the new Wilson BLX will help players to feel more and play better,” says Jon Muir, general manager, Wilson Racquet Sports. Federer switched to the Six.One BLX racquet at the beginning of the year and continues his domination of the sport in his recent win of the Australian Open.

Wilson research showed that 72% of tennis players polled want more “feel” from their racquet. Themed “Feel More. More Feel,” creative centers on the psychology of the game as Federer gets into the heads of players and asks them to take a moment and reconsider their racquet choice.

“Every tennis player knows that a big part of the game is mental and the feel of your racquet plays a big role in how you’re feeling on the court not just physically, but mentally,” says David DeMuth, Doner co-CEO, president and competitive tennis player. “If you go to the local tennis court and watch when players miss a ball, the first thing they do is look at their racquet.”

“Our idea was simple: whenever questioning your shot becomes questioning your game, Roger shows up with his therapy couch,” says Murray White, Doner executive VP-executive creative director. Then Federer asks the classic therapy question, “How does that make you feel?”

Where many sports brand campaigns featuring athletes rely on action shots and limit their speaking lines, Doner put Federer’s personality and acting ability front and center. “Having Roger dragging this blisteringly bright tennis-ball-yellow couch into the middle of a court brought both credibility and absurdity to the spot,” White adds. “It had to genuinely look like he was there with this normal dude and trying to help. We really drew on his performance and he was fantastic.”

TV spots will air on Wimbledon coverage and other tennis programming. Other media include print, billboards, social, and web as well as promotions and special events to become almost consistently social across all communication channels. Wilson opted to preview the campaign on Federer’s Facebook page that boasts more than 3.5 million fans.

The first of four :45 spots opens with two men playing tennis. One of the players hits a bad backhand shot and the ball goes straight into the net. With a frustrated look on his face the player stops as Federer noisily pushes the bright yellow couch onto the court. Federer says to the player, “It’s OK, Michael. Sit down.” Michael sits down and says, “Ahh, it’s my backhand.” Federer, holding a clip board sits in a folding chair facing the couch, replies, “Uh huh, how does that make you feel?” “I don’t know, I’m starting to question my whole game,” responds the player. Federer: “Uh huh, and how does that make you feel?” Upset, Michael responds, “I’m not feeling anything.” Federer hands him one of the new Wilson BLX racquets and says, “How does this make you feel?” The spot moves to Michael on the court testing the racquet. He hits several pro-like shots and returns to the couch with a huge smile on his face, “It feels incredible! Can I keep it?” Federer takes the racquet from him and says, “No, that one’s mine. How does that make you feel?” As Michael answers, “Well, I was thinking…” Federer interrupts him by looking at his watch, stands up and says, “Time’s up.” He then walks away leaving Michael on the couch shocked by what just happened. The spot ends with a tennis court in the background as a Wilson BLX comes into screen with the Wilson logo and BLX themeline.

About Wilson

Wilson Racquet Sports is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports equipment and owned by Amer Sports. Wilson designs, manufactures and distributes sporting goods throughout the world and focuses on making technologically advanced products which help players of all levels perform better. Wilson’s core sport categories include: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis). For more information, visit www.wilson.com.

About Doner

Doner is one of the largest independently owned advertising agencies in the world, with approximately $1.5 billion in combined billings. Based in Southfield, Mich., the agency has offices throughout North America, as well as in London, and does business in more than 30 countries for clients including Mazda, Amazon.com, The Coca-Cola Company, ADT, DuPont, The Coleman Company, Shell Oil and Sherwin-Williams. A full-service, performance-driven agency, Doner focuses on creating ideas that change the destiny of brands through creativity. Please visit our website at www.doner.com.

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