“Great launching pad for brands”: Nine’s Anne Gruber on the power of the Australian Open for advertisers

Australian Open

“It’s the only property across the year where you can connect across all mediums and tell your story in those moments as they happen”

With the 2023 Australian Open kicking off on Monday, January 16, Nine has unveiled its major partners and sponsors.

With brands leveraging off Nine’s combined assets spanning Total Television, Publishing, Digital and Audio, the 2023 Summer of Tennis gives brands the opportunity to start the new year exposed to a large audience.

Last year’s Australian Open was the second most searched Google term of the year, reached 12.5 million people across Nine’s content ecosystem and had the highest commercial share in OzTam history.

Mediaweek spoke to Nine’s head of content partnerships, Anne Gruber, ahead of the Australian Open about Nine’s commercial offerings.

Nine recently secured the Australian Open for an additional five years until 2029, which Gruber says will continue to provide a “great launching pad for brands.”

“This is the fifth year of broadcasting the Summer of Tennis on Nine. What we’ve learned, during that period is for our content divisions to work together really, really closely because we know that content consumption has changed, particularly in the sports arena.

“And so the reason tennis is so powerful for brands is that it’s the only property across the year where you can connect across all mediums, and tell your story in those moments as they happen,” Gruber said.

Anne Gruber and Brent Williams

2023 Australian Open partners and sponsors

Nine’s major partners and sponsors for the 2023 Summer of Tennis are Kia, Samsung, Uber Eats, APT, Chemist Warehouse, Peters and Stan – who all return for another year.

Qantas, Chubb Insurance, McDonalds, Optus, Bupa, and Berocca have also accessed the full suite of Nine’s Summer of Tennis premium assets as new partners and sponsors.

2023 has also seen Tennis Australia partners Bondi Sands, Ralph Lauren, Life-Space, and Gordon’s Gin capitalise on Nine’s customised AO Extender packages.

“We’ve got Optus joining us as a new sponsor. They’re going to be presenting messaging around their fast 5G network,” Gruber said. “They’re also going to be the presenting partner of a new podcast we’ve just launched called AO Daily.”

Additionally, Gordon’s Gin has taken advantage of Nine’s AO extender package, which will see them feature a gin lovers guide, published in Nine’s Good Food Magazine ahead of the tennis.

Nine’s new podcast: Australian Open: The Happy Slam

What’s on offer

Nine offers four key entry points for brands to take advantage of.

“The partner level is the most premium level that provides access across all channels and platforms and access to our internal creative team, Powered, to create something bespoke.

“The sponsor level is the next one, which is equally premium in terms of access with slightly less placements across all the platforms.

“The third level is effectively a premium placement across the metro and regional broadcast, as well as BVOD.

“And then something we came up with in partnership with Tennis Australia to support the official on-ground partners is what we call our tennis extender or AO extender – an activation on the ground or a store or something else to bring that to life, but without having to invest so significantly across the board,” Gruber said.

From a special edition of Tennis, by Good Weekend magazine and two brand new 9Podcasts series titled AO The Happy Slam and AO The Happy Slam Daily – featuring an all-star lineup including Pat Rafter, Dylan Alcott, Jim Courier and Ajla Tomljanovic – to content on WWOS.com.au and brand integration throughout the broadcast, partners have an entire ecosystem to reach Nine’s 20 million signed-in users.

See also: Nine launches its new podcast Australian Open: The Happy Slam

Additionally, The AO coincides with a summer of 9Now product launches of new in-app experiences, including instant live TV, and the ‘start over’ function.

Gruber added, “Now in our fifth year, we’ve got some, long-standing relationships with those partners and brands that support the tennis, which enables us to have broader conversations around the year.

​​”What’s become even better every year is for us to use our talent across those platforms to work with brands to tell their stories.”

Top image: Anne Gruber

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