LOS ANGELES, December 20, 2006 —
Month-Long Promotional Campaign Includes Aussie-Themed Programming, Tournaments, Sweepstakes and Promotions
The Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it, has partnered with McWilliam’s Wines to return and expand the popular “Aussie Mania” sweepstakes it ran in 2006. The full slate of programming and promotion honors the rich history of Australian tennis during the month when the sport is focused on the Australian Open, one of the four major Grand Slam tournaments of the year.
McWilliam’s Wines, one of Australia’s oldest and most respected family-owned wineries, will support “Aussie Mania” with a national retail promotion and sweepstakes at 12,000 supermarkets, liquor and fine wine stores across the country during January. The promotional material, including bottle toppers, shelf-talkers and fliers, will direct consumers to enter The Tennis Channel “Aussie Mania” Sweepstakes at www.TheTennisChannel.com.
Consumers can enter to win the “Ultimate Australian Vacation,” a trip for two to the 2008 Australian Open and a special trip to the McWilliam’s winery in the Hunter Valley outside Sydney. The sweepstakes begins this week.
“Our audience responded in tremendous numbers to last year’s ‘Aussie Mania,’ ‘Bonjour Tour’ (for the French Open) and ‘Road to the US Open’ campaigns,” said Faye Walker, vice president, marketing, The Tennis Channel. “With the support of McWilliam’s Wines we look forward to building upon that success with new, innovative programming and promotions that speak to our audience’s lifestyle and engages them more than ever.”
“We are truly excited about the opportunity to partner with The Tennis Channel and build upon the success from their past campaigns,” said Scott McWilliam, sixth-generation family winemaker. “As a family-owned winery with such a long winemaking history in Australia, we are proud to share the adventure and uniqueness of our country with our great friends in the United States.”
The Tennis Channel will re-brand its air throughout January with widely recognizable Australian sights and sounds developed in conjunction with the Tennis Australia, the governing body of the Australian Open. Interstitials, wraps, bumpers, voice-overs and an entire series of Australian-themed promos will transform the channel into an on-air reflection of the land Down Under. These pieces feature online polls, fun facts and brain teasers, and the channel also will highlight the area’s glamorous vacation destinations, native cuisine and exotic animals.
The television spots will also drive viewers to the network’s Web site, www.TheTennisChannel.com, where an Internet component bridges the gap between on-air and online activities. Among these, the network is using “Aussie Mania” to launch “Racquet Bracket,” an interactive, weekly tennis game that allows Web visitors to compete against each other by attempting to pick the winning players of every match in a tournament. These are similar to the brackets made so popular during the annual NCAA men’s basketball championship. Prizes will be awarded to winners each week, with running scores kept throughout the year for the chance to win a final prize at the end of 2007.
High-performance sports equipment manufacturer Prince Sports is the presenting sponsor of all print, on-air and online promotions associated with this year’s “Aussie Mania” campaign.
The Tennis Channel’s affiliate sales team is also engaging cable systems to expand the scope of the “Aussie Mania” promotion. Cable affiliates that run cross-channel spots for the stunt will receive Apple iPod nanos to offer to employees or subscribers, and the network plans special McWilliam’s Wine tasting affiliate events in select markets. In all, The Tennis Channel hopes to work with more than 20 systems that reach more than six million subscribers around the U.S. during the sweepstakes.
The network will also run an unparalleled 50 hours of live tennis from four Australian tournaments in January including: the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Perth, Dec 30-Jan 5 (men’s and women’s, mixed doubles); Mondial Women’s Hardcourts in the Gold Coast, Dec 31-Jan 6; Next Generation International in Adelaide, Jan 1-7 (men’s); and the Medibank International in Sydney, Jan 7-13 (women’s). Other than the Hyundai Hopman Cup, all are part of the Australian Open Series, a succession of tournaments that lead up to the Australian Open in mid January. The mixed doubles Hyundai Hopman Cup is one of the three most prestigious international team cup championships in the world, along with the men’s Davis Cup and women’s Fed Cup.
In addition to the exhaustive Australian tournament coverage, The Tennis Channel’s “Aussie Mania” programming will include more than 20 episodes of original series and specials dedicated to the nation and its tennis stars and rich contribution to the sport. Signature shows like interview series like Center Court with Chris Myers and the day-in-the-life profile No Strings will feature Australian tennis personalities. The Tennis Channel will also air Net Film documentaries on Australian tennis and its history.
About McWilliam’s Wines
Founded in 1877, McWilliam’s Wines is one of Australia’s oldest and most highly respected family-owned wineries. The company has premium vineyards in Australia’s most important growing regions, including Coonawarra in South Australia, Hunter Valley and Hilltops in New South Wales, Yarra Valley in Victoria, and the Riverina. From the very beginning, the McWilliam family has been dedicated to the craft of winemaking which has helped to continue their winemaking heritage over time. Rich in character, depth and tradition, McWilliam’s Wines are consistent winners in wine shows and have received overwhelming endorsements from both the American and Australian wine media. McWilliam’s Wines are available in restaurants and fine wine shops across the world. For more information, visit www.mcwilliamswines.com.
The Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it. 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 Roland Garros (the French Open), the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup.
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For further information:
Eric Abner, The Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Shoda, Precision PR, 916-960-5343, email@example.com