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AO pop up tennis, outstanding again…


I’ve said it before – one of the best things about Melbourne in January is the awesome Australian Open. For two weeks our city buzzes with events and entertainment, centred around the year’s first Grand Slam tennis tournament. Hundreds of thousands flock to Melbourne Park, eager to see some great play and engage in everything else the precinct has to offer… hospitality, retail, entertainment and interactive events (yep, I was one of those 812,174 fans* through the gates this year)

And the whole event is a massive pop up !

I’ve discussed the AO pop up tennis experience several times on these pages (see : Australian Open 2019) – not just the numerous high-profile brands and personalities appearing within the ‘Park but across other venues and activities around Melbourne. This year, perhaps more than ever, the AO was also a (temporary) escape – from bushfires, climate concerns and inept politicians…

But enough from me (obviously a big fan of those two weeks of AO !) Scanning some of the post-event comments on the 2020 AO tournament, I came across an article posted last week on Author Boyd Hicklin is Melbourne-based Executive Creative Director at Gemba (“world-class insights, strategy and marketing communications to the global sport and entertainment industry”). And, I think, another passionate advocate of pop up tennis.

Hicklin’s AO – The  Experiential Brand Slam article on LinkedIn describes his “walk through the carnival that is Melbourne Park… it’s not a stroll for the faint hearted. The AO precinct is big, bold and busy. There’s never a dull moment and always something to do.”

He says the “experience is highly curated and slickly executed…  the AO’s sponsor partners are seamlessly integrated“, describing various highly-branded activations. “And because shopping is a passion that can’t be neglected for more than a few hours, the precinct does a great job of offering brands the chance to sell their product…”

“Overall, it’s probably the slickest sporting/brand integration in the country. Two weeks is long enough to invest in serious infrastructure and tech. The same venue year after year means learnings get captured and tweaks get made, and fans understand how to get involved. Hundreds of thousands of festival goers embrace the full experience, not just turn up to a match and then go home.”

Isn’t that just the perfect scenario for a pop up ?


* source :

Read the full Experiential Brand Slam article here



images : AO2020 is open, Boyd Hicklin’s article on LinkedIn


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