LTA serves up “The Tennisables” campaign by BMB

LTA Tennisables - HERO

LTA, the national governing body of tennis in Great Britain, has launched a new integrated advertising and branded content campaign, called “The Tennisables” to inspire more children aged 4-11 years old to play tennis.

British professional tennis players, Emma Raducanu MBE, and Jack Draper, star in the campaign to introduce a new generation of tennis players to the game.

The Tennisables campaign  

The integrated campaign, by creative agency BMB, welcomes six new characters, collectively known as “The LTA Tennisables”, aimed at making tennis more engaging, accessible and fun, to support the LTA’s long-term mission to open up tennis to a wider audience, through their innovative junior programme, LTA Youth.

Grand Slam champion, Emma Raducanu opens the TV spot, as she serves to British tennis’ break-through star Jack Draper. On return, we see the tennis ball morph into an animated Tennisable character called “Ace”.

Ace joins five colourful friends Slice, Spin, Dash, Smash – and Bounce who was born deaf and is voiced by actress, Rose Ayling-Ellis, known for her role in Eastenders and being the first deaf contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, which she won in 2021.

Each character proudly showcases their own individual personality traits and tennis superpower.

Launching in 60-second and 30-second spots online and broadcast media on ITVX and Sky on 12 June, the characters will also feature in a 6-episode LTA YouTube content series designed to teach kids the basics of tennis, whether or not they own a racket or have access to a court.

Each episode features an individual Tennisable, who demonstrates ways to develop a particular skill: speed, competitiveness, resilience, technique, brainpower… all whilst having fun.

The campaign will run for three months through the summer from June; and will include TV sponsorship on Network/Boomerang, BVOD and digital on TikTok, YouTube and Meta, and experiential components in schools.

An initial batch of 55,000 physical LTA Tennisables will be distributed to schoolchildren across the UK through the LTA’s school outreach programme, and the Tennisables will be on site at the LTA’s summer events, including the Rothesay Open Nottingham, cinch Championships in London, Rothesay Classic Birmingham, Rothesay International Eastbourne.

Each tennis ball comes with its own QR code, which accesses the LTA website where the content series will be hosted, alongside information and links for booking onto the LTA Youth programme.

Regardless of whether they play tennis or not themselves, research shows that parents are motivated to support their children’s interests.

The campaign taps into that parental imperative, while providing excitement and fun to children through the gamification of collectibles to build interest and tap into fandom.

The LTA wants to encourage 100,000 more children a week to play tennis, and to increase bookings onto the LTA Youth programme, developed to be fun, safe, inclusive and competitive, with specially designed progressive coaching and content that will help develop children aged 4-18 as both players and people.

Julie Porter, LTA COO said: “The LTA Tennisables tread new ground for the LTA Youth programme, bringing tennis to life in a way we have not done before, getting a tennis ball into the hands of thousands of children and engaging them in this unique way.

“The campaign has been designed using extensive research and insight into the behaviours and motivations of children and their parents and the integrated advertising and content campaign is a game-changer for the LTA and our mission to open tennis up to new audiences.

“The successful roll-out of LTA Youth has already seen thousands of schoolteachers, coaches and community activators trained to deliver tennis sessions, contributing to the extremely positive rise in participation amongst children that we have recorded in the past year, and we can’t wait to see children engaging with these amazing characters this summer and beyond.”

Matt Lever, CCO at BMB said: “We’re very excited to introduce The Tennisables to kids all over the UK.

“And the fact that we’re getting the furry little guys into tens of thousands of kids’ hands too, means we can hopefully inspire real enthusiasm for tennis – and the brilliant courses the LTA offer – in children that have never even held a racket before”.

BMB was appointed as lead creative partner for LTA Youth in January 2023 after a competitive pitch.

The agency’s remit is to support the national governing body of tennis’s mission to open up the game and get more kids playing tennis, whatever their age, gender, ability, disability or background.