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Tennis Channel to air Babolat mini clinics

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, has partnered with the world’s oldest racquet-sports company - Babolat - for a multi-episode television and Internet campaign that begins this spring. The Babolat One-Minute Clinics represent a first for the network: 12 instructional vignettes co-created with a racquet manufacturer as “entitlement sponsor,” that is, an advertising partner who shares editorial vision and direction with the network

The deal also marks the first time Babolat has put advertising dollars toward U.S. television.

“Tennis Channel is excited to work with Babolat this year to build a new series of instructional content that our viewers and Web visitors will find very informative,” said Randy Master, vice president of advertising sales, Tennis Channel. “Even if you’re not someone with a weekly tennis match on your schedule, as a fan of the sport you can’t help but be interested in the hows and whys of what makes someone successful at this game.”

Each of the Babolat One-Minute Clinics features example video of professional tennis players who are signed with the manufacturer, stars such as Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Dinara Safina and others. Shot at the Racquet Club of Irvine near Los Angeles, the episodes are hosted by Babolat-affiliated tennis instructors and personalities like retired Grand Slam mixed-doubles champion Justin Gimelstob (who also works as a television analyst for Tennis Channel and other networks throughout the year). The segments offer a variety of tennis instruction for recreational players to digest, among it reverse forehands, ground strokes, volleys, drop shots, serve disguises, short-ball footwork and more.

Tennis Channel also created a specialized Babolat One-Minute Clinic Web page to appear on its Web site, tennischannel.com, during the campaign. The first of the vignettes is set to appear on air and online in late April.

“The Babolat One-Minute Clinics are a natural way for us to create brand awareness around our product offering, and we’re really pleased with the final result and production quality,” said Susan DiBiase, marketing director for the United States. “Tennis Channel has provided a unique way of reaching players of all skill levels, particularly the beginning-level players who regularly watch the sport on TV, but are just starting to pick up a racquet and venture out onto the court.”

Though the partnership represents Babolat’s initial U.S. television advertising purchase, it is not the first time it has worked with Tennis Channel. In 2009 the manufacturer sponsored a series of banners ads on the network’s Web site.

Tennis Channel (tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

For further information: Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, eabner@tennischannel.com

 

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