Like all the greatest creative platforms, Wilson’s came from a great strategy.
WILSON IS EVERY ATHLETE’S FAITHFUL WEAPON
When Serena Williams is playing center court at Wimbledon. When the pressure is on in the third set and she flubs a shot. She doesn’t take off her Nike tennis shoe and throw it in anger. She takes it out on her racket. Curses it, looks away from it or smashes it on the ground. Her racket is an extension of her. Just like every athlete’s equipment is an extension of them.
This powerful relationship between the athlete and their equipment became the basis for every communication touchpoint we created for Wilson. It informed the new brand identity we designed for them.
It was the heart of our first brand campaign for them (their first brand campaign in history) #MyWilson. A celebration of athlete/equipment relationships at every level from beginners to professionals.
We highlighted the same relationship in a social campaign, asking pro athletes across every sport to make this powerful declaration across their social channels.
And, in turn, asked amateurs to submit their own declarations. These were added to a constantly evolving “living” version of the #MyWilson anthem film. Two years later, the #MyWilson hashtag is still showing up in users’ content from all over the globe. A concise, consumer-adopted shorthand for the most important relationship in athletes’ lives.
Our most effective product campaigns were strongly rooted in that same relationship. The most successful launch in the company’s history was for Roger Federer’s newly redesigned Pro Staff RF97. Our campaign was based on the notion that all the skill, finesse and playing wisdom that Roger and his trusty Pro Staff had amassed together over the years would be passed down in this product that he redesigned from scratch. With it, he would challenge the next great tennis players to play as well as him, with a fire like his.
Roger presented the real life future greats with the new racket to build their own relationship with and a hand-signed letter to inspire them. And challenged players from around the globe, across his own and Wilson’s social channels, to play as well as he can.
The most successful social campaign in the company’s history was also built from the athlete/equipment relationship up. Wilson had designed a suite of products to help young players keep up with the speed that the new wave of tennis was being played at. We documented the lives of the four fastest young players from around the world and how the new equipment allowed them to play faster than ever before. From the USA, to Germany, France and Korea.
These players became global social stars. We partnered with Snap to continue each of their stories in real time. And with Spotify to share their individual training playlists.
The relationship was also the basis for a game-changing, future-defining series of connected sports equipment that we designed for Wilson, as well as the division we created as the launching pad for these products. The first connected product we designed was the multi-award-winning Wilson X Connected Basketball. The ball connects to a smartphone app to help the athlete train harder, develop their skills and play simulated stadium-pressure games.
And what better to launch the new product than a film about a kid whose Wilson X Basketball never leaves his side.
As a follow-up to the Wilson X Connected Basketball, we designed the Wilson X Connected Football.
With the Wilson X Connected Football we pushed the possibilities of what a connected product could do even further, creating a new genre of gaming. Kids could now play a full Madden-like football game in their own backyards.
With a little help from Seahawks Quarterback, Russell Wilson, we helped kids across the US throw faster, tighter spirals further than they ever had before.
We even challenged them to throw as well as he could.
The athlete/equipment relationship also paved the way for us to create an entirely new type of TV show. Driver vs Driver asked Golfers around the world to channel their skill, experience and engineering knowledge to create the next great driver. The club is now being used by Wilson tour players around the world.