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UT NEWS & Updates

Agassi “Open” Marketing

Posted by Team UT on November 2nd, 2009   Interactive, Sports Marketing

When we first heard that Andre’s autobiography was going to be titled “Open” – we immediately thought about all the great marketing ideas that could be tied into the release. The publisher went with the traditional method of letting excerpts do most of the book marketing, so we’ll take a quick look at what’s been done so far, and then outline some additional ideas we had.

Existing Publisher Marketing:
Thought it would be a good idea to recap what the book publisher, Knopf, has done so far:

  • Excerpts – The publisher did deals with “People Magazine” and “SI” among other for first serial rights.
  • Message from Andre – Shortly after the excerpts started coming out, Knopf released a short explanation video by Andre about why he wanted to do the book. It can be seen on profile pages like Amazon and the publisher’s site.
  • Knopf Page – Knopf has a standard book profile page setup on their site.
  • 60 Minutes Interview – Andre will appear November 8th on the show to promote the book.
  • AA Foundation – The book is also briefly showcased on Andre’s Foundation site w/ info on when it will be released, but nothing else.

Additional Solutions:
Our team has been a huge fan and supporter of Andre’s since the mid-90’s and in 1999 we put together a promotional website for him at The site had gone from official site setup, to mini-site, to placeholder site over the years and was completely turned over to Andre’s team this past August.

With that in mind our solution is built around a campaign using as a one-stop information hub for the book. Some initial ideas that could have been implemented include the following:

  • Behind the scenes information on & from the book – We’re envisioning a diary of the making of the book through a combination of text and video outlining Andre’s journey from start to finish.
  • Excerpts – one source for all the book excerpts as they’re released.
  • Book Reviews – one source for all the book reviews.
  • Video Messages – including the original publisher’s one from Andre, but also ongoing messages from Andre. This would allow for more complete control of the media coverage of the book.
  • Appearances – one source for all of Andre’s promotional efforts around the book (including exclusive behind the scenes recaps of all these events as well)
  • Promotions – Tied to the site registration and user interaction for chances to win autographed copies of the book.
  • Q&A w/ Andre – Tied to an official Twitter account for the book, so post release – readers/fans can submit questions/comments related to the book that Andre would answer on video.
  • Buzz Feed – “Open” showcase feed of all mentions of the book & Andre from Twitter, Blogs, News Media, etc.
  • Online Promo Ties – promotional videos, imagery, and information on the book could have been distributed through a preset network of tennis-related websites, blogs, Twitter accounts, etc to continue to build up buzz through the release date.

Our commentary is not so much a criticism for what could have been done differently for Andre, but rather how the book publishers have not properly embraced digital marketing to help create an experience around their properties and sell more product in a very simple and cost-efficient way.

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