Australian Open 2019 – pop up tennis
OMGoodness. It’s the middle of January and we’re sweltering… must be time for pop up tennis !
A few days ago the 2019 Australian Open got underway… almost 2 weeks of the very best tennis (and tantrums) playing out right here on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD. Last year nearly 750,000 people attended Melbourne Park (that’s the highest attended Grand Slam event)*, also watched by millions on TV (especially those multi-set epics, and player antics). But what home viewers can’t experience is the magic atmosphere of the Australian Open (AO) – not only the thrill of live championship action, but more so the incredibly-friendly and relaxed buzz across the whole event.
Outside the show courts there’s loads of other activity – experiential and hospitality precincts, live stage performances, bars and cafes… and retail !
The “AO High Street” is back again this year, featuring a bunch of pop up tennis outlets – each of them offering something to take home (much of it branded “AO”…) The Country Road (“official lifestyle fashion partner”) pop up store has been “designed to be a tranquil retreat…. (including) a personalisation service which will allow customers to have country flags, as well as names and initials, embossed onto Country Road totes, caps and visors” (also offering a range of unisex styles from their heritage collection)#
Other retailers on the AO High Street include La Roche-Posay (skin care and sunscreens), adidas, Happy Socks, lululemon and the AO Fan Shop. Dotted out around the wider precinct are many other high-profile labels and retailers… Crumpler, Toms, Garnier and Vegemite (and a huge choice of specialty food and beverage outlets)
And it’s all “pop up” ! Each year (most of) the AO event bumps in through December, and is gone again in February, until the next December of course. That’s no easy feat – it requires teams of dedicated sales and logistical talent to make the AO a success (it’s not all about the tennis !) The massive effort and infrastructure of the AO is typical for a major spectacle – especially those which run for some time, attracting many visitors over many days.
Major events can be a great opportunity for brands to meet their demographic… they’ll often invest significant sums in their installations and marketing. That’s why the longer the event, the better (for some brands) – to get “more bang for their buck”. In the past we’ve discussed the variety of clever pop up projects associated with the olympic games and other regular sporting / cultural events (the Melbourne Cup racing carnival, halloween and Guy Fawkes night…) – each seem to attract a lot of attention from their dedicated audiences (but only for a limited time)
Which is why the AO is a great way for so many lifestyle / sporting brands to connect… between the matches (and spatches) of pop up tennis !
* source : wikipedia.org / Australian Open
images : Google Images – Australian Open, Country Road
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