Nine buoyed by sponsorship response for Australian Open debut

Australian commercial broadcaster Nine has pointed to a new strategic approach as the reason behind an oversubscribed offering for sponsorship of its coverage of the Australian Open tennis grand slam.

The 2019 Australian Open commenced in Melbourne today (Monday) and Nine unveiled the major partners and sponsors for its inaugural broadcast, with Kia, ANZ, AGL and Uber Eats taking the four top-tier partnerships for the tournament coverage.

Elsewhere, APT, Blackmores, Bunnings, Chemist Warehouse, Industry SuperFunds, Mastercard, Peters and Stan have all taken out key integrated sponsorship packages around Nine’s coverage of the summer of tennis.

In June, Nine reached an agreement to commence its coverage of the Australian Open a year early. Nine’s deal with fellow commercial broadcaster Seven and Tennis Australia meant its contract started this month and will run for six years, until the end of 2024.

Nine today (Monday) said its First Serve packages have been oversubscribed, with significant demand to be part of the broadcast. Nine’s partnership and sponsorship positions give partners the opportunity to leverage the four pillars of the Australian Open using all of Nine’s key properties and platforms, such as 9Honey, Today and Wide World of Sport.

Matthew Granger, Nine’s director of sales for sport, said: “Our partners have recognised the power of the strategic new approach taken by Nine. We are thrilled to have a number of previous partners returning, and a number of exciting new brands who have accessed Nine’s Summer of Tennis for the first time.”

The acquisition of the broadcast rights last year highlighted how Tennis Australia would work with Nine to expand the Australian Open into a broader community event and festival built around food, music and kids, with world-class tennis at its heart.

“Our cross-platform strategy, including Today going live from the tennis precinct, will provide a fantastic platform for brands, showing how Nine can use all its assets to deliver real results for marketers,” Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer, added.

“It has been fantastic to work so closely with Tennis Australia. Our partnership and alignment is paying real dividends for existing and new partners alike. There is no greater aggregator of eyeballs on consecutive nights than tennis and there is no greater marketing platform for brands over summer than the Australian Open.”

Nine last week announced it a raft of major advertising product announcements aimed at making digital video even more targeted and easier to buy. Nine confirmed the launch of dynamic ad insertion into live streams and the launch of a range of new behavioural segments allowing marketers to target consumers even more effectively using addressable advertising.

Nine is launching a range of new behavioural segments in the automotive and financial services categories during the Australian Open. Marketers will be able to target a range of segments on broadcast video-on-demand platform 9Now like small SUV buyers in the auto category, using exclusive data from Car Advice, or credit card and home loan intenders, using data supplied by Equifax.