Tennis Channel Case Study

About Tennis Channel:

Established in 2003 as the ultimate destination for everything tennis, Tennis Channel is devoted to making everyone a fan. The network champions the game with exclusive, comprehensive tournament coverage that matches the intensity of the sport’s competition schedule. Tennis Channel equally captures the sport’s endless stream of star power through captivating original programming and off-court prowess.

Challenge:

Tennis Channel provides exclusive coverage of the French Open tournament – both on-air and online. The network wanted to build awareness for the tournament and drive traffic to its coverage of the event. In addition, Tennis Channel wanted to grow its email subscription database through promotion of its Passport to Paris sweepstakes. Elixir Interactive was selected for this project based on the existing relationship – Elixir manages Tennis Channel’s organic search program – and Elixir’s proposed strategy of integrating multiple digital tactics to achieve Tennis Channel’s goals.

Elixir Engagement:

Tennis Channel engaged Elixir for its search engine optimization, digital asset optimization, paid search, display advertising and community outreach services. Combining both organic and paid tactics allowed Elixir to control the timing of messages around the French open tournament.

Tennis Channel’s specific objectives for this project were to:

. Increase overall site traffic 100% over the same period in 2007
. Decrease the cost per acquisition from the Passport to Paris sweepstakes

Solution:

Elixir began the project by researching the linguistic preferences, networks and social media that existed around the French Open and tennis in general. By understanding the language and shared community of Tennis Channel’s target audience Elixir was able to craft a plan that included the optimization of content including video, images and text, the acquisition of links from relevant and authoritative sources, the placement of display ads on highly engaged and trafficked blogs and forums, and the implementation of a paid search campaign that aligned budget spending with the progression of the tournament. Elixir actively engaged influential bloggers to assist with promoting the Passport to Passport sweepstakes as well as other Tennis Channel online features such as Racket Bracket and streaming video coverage of the event.

Tennis Channel video and image assets were optimized and distributed to well-known content sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr. This increased Tennis Channel’s digital footprint and allowed them to strengthen their association with the French Open. Display ads were carefully placed on sites, blogs and forums that were recognized as authoritative by the search engines, where there was a large audience that was highly engaged as measured by time on site and average number of page views. For the paid search aspect of the campaign, budget was day-parted and targeted based on demographic. Facebook-targeted text ads were particularly successful in driving the right kind of traffic to the Tennis Channel website.

Results:

The project was extraordinarily successful in driving traffic, email sign-ups and reducing the cost per acquisition. In fact, at certain points of the tournament, the Tennis Channel website received so much traffic that additional servers were needed to handle the increased load. Through the integrated tactic approach, Elixir was able to achieve the following results:

Year-over-year overall traffic increase of 120%.
Traffic from organic search increased 100%.
Email subscriptions increased by 50%
Cost per acquisition was reduced 300% over the same period in 2007
The video and image assets received over 100,000 views for the tournament and continue to drive traffic and brand awareness

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