I may not be a tennis fanatic, but I do get interested in the major tournaments. While watching the Rogers Cup men’s tennis recently on television, I noticed prominent sponsorship branding for lovemeansnothing.ca . Generally at events of this nature you tend to see the bigger brands as advertisers and sponsors. When I saw this “unknown” brand as what appeared to be a prominent sponsor, I was a bit surprised, and intrigued enough to want to check out the web site to see what it was all about. I figured that I was either simply not in the know because I really didn’t follow tennis a lot, or that it was a clever new competitor making a big (launch) move at a major tournament. I didn’t get a chance to check out the site before I learned from the commentator that this was a new online tennis community web site. What a great, relevant and clever name for it, and what a great venue for what appeared to be a launch!
When I did get around to checking out the site I then saw that it was actually a Tennis Canada web site, but their branding was very “quiet”and secondary to the “LoveMean Nothing.ca” branding. A lot of companies would want their branding to be prominent, but Tennis Canada was confident and wise enough to let the “LoveMeansNothing.ca brand dominate. After all, people going to this site aren’t necessarily going because they are interested in Tennis Canada, but because they are interested in being part of a tennis community. The Tennis Canada branding may serve as an endorsement and credibility booster for the new brand, at least in the short term until the new brand and community establishes itself. Who knows what will happen with the branding over time, but kudos to Tennis Canada for the creative branding approach and for their confidence to stand down and let the real brand shine! Add that to the National Bank’s bold branding that I blogged about last week, and it’s “thirty – love” for branding at the Rogers Cup men’s tennis this year!