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Best Practice: Creating Excitement Through A ‘Demonstration Day’

Best Practice: Creating Excitement Through A ‘Demonstration Day’

Definition And Example:
A Demonstration Day (‘demo day’) is when a group of tennis manufacturers (i.e., Prince, Wilson, Head, Babolat, Yonex, K-Swiss, Adidas, etc.) gather at a tennis facility and provide their products for trial to participants.  The participants are able to demo many different rackets or try on tennis shoes, and are able to speak with the respective manufacturer representatives present at the event. 

Significance:
The significance of a demo day is that it educates the target market (tennis players) about the current tennis products on the market.  Considering the significant changes in racket technology every year, the consumer can easily get confused with regards to what make or model suits his game.  To use the old cliché, “the best consumer is the educated consumer.” 

Benefits:
There are many benefits as a result of a demo day, but I will highlight just a few.  First, it provides a forum for manufacturer representatives to educate the target market about their respective products.  The likelihood of a racket sale significantly increases after an event like this.  Second, the energy and excitement created by a demo day can lead to more tennis play by the participants during the days that follow the event.  Tennis professionals either involved with the demo day or who teach tennis in the area can benefit from this enthusiasm.  Third, tennis retail operations can benefit by increased racket sales, shoe sales, as well as other tennis accessory sales.  A demo day is a terrific vehicle to positively effect different avenues of the tennis industry.

Procedure:
Each manufacturer representative is designated their own court to showcase product and run the participants through various tennis drills and games.  Ideally there should be no more than 10 players on one court.  The amount of time that the participants stay on a respective court is generally 20 minutes.  For example, a player will demo Prince Rackets for 20 minutes and then visit the Head Racket Sports court for a different demo experience for the next 20 minutes.  The court rotations continue until each manufacturer representative has had the opportunity to present product to all of the participant groupings.  One very important part of the event is MUSIC!  This is a key part of the fun!  People love playing tennis to music!       

People Involved:

  • Tennis facility manager
  • Tennis Manufacturer Representatives
  • Tennis teaching professionals
  • Tennis Retail Operations

Timing:
Advertising: the advertising for the demo day should begin two months prior to the event with follow-up communication done one month followed by a week before the demo day.  A consistent reminder will result in a greater participant turnout. 

Organizing: for large groups of participants (150 people), it is best to divide the day into two shifts.  For example, participants sign up for either the morning demo or afternoon demo.  This will help keep the number of people per court to a minimum and more “demo-ing” to take place.    

Cost:
The expenses associated with this event include the following:

  • Advertising: print advertisement in the local paper is more expensive than creating your own flier and circulating it amongst the tennis members at the facility where the event will be held.
  • Tennis Balls/Hoppers: tennis balls and hoppers should be provided for all of the manufacturers at the event.  These items may need to be purchased if there are not enough balls/hoppers.
  • Tennis professionals: the pros should be compensated for their time feeding balls and answering questions regarding rackets, etc.  Most pros, however, are on contract with a manufacturer and are required to participate in at least one event like this per year.
  • Beverages: sports beverage manufacturers are sometimes willing to donate product for the event.  It is great exposure for a brand!

Other Considerations:
Time of Year: A demo day is usually really effective in late spring/ early summer.  Most people are eager to enjoy outdoor activities and the fun and enthusiasm experienced at one of these events can lead to increase tennis play throughout the summer months. 

Event: A great time to have a demo day is prior to a major tennis event like the U.S. Open.  The excitement of a major tournament coupled with a demo day is an effective way to bring the tennis community together.   

Most every tennis manufacturer has been involved in a demo day.  The manufacturer representative in each territory across the United States is responsible for promoting his respective product line.  The best advice is to contact the local representatives in your area.

 
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