West Nally & Tennis
Greenshield Grass Roots
During the 1970’s West Nally worked closely with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and then with the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Peter West was a regular BBC commentator during Wimbledon fortnight which was also a great advantage.
As a public relations company, West Nally was able to utilise its close contacts with sport to develop marketing packages that suited both sides of the coin – the sport and the sponsor.
In the late 1970’s West Nally introduced Green Shield trading stamps to tennis through a grass roots programme whereby youngsters could learn to play tennis for 50 pence. Working with local Councils on public tennis courts, LTA coaches were retained to give youngsters the basics of the game. In the meantime, the close relationship between Green Shield and the Councils, meant that planning permission for petrol forecourt signage became a little easier.
The Federation Cup
This historical women’s tennis event needed a sponsor and West Nally was beginning to work with some major Japanese companies. Nippon Electric Company of Japan (NEC) agreed to sponsor the 1978 Final in Berlin – long before “the wall” came down. A clean package of rights with exclusive NEC signage was contracted and some excellent corporate hospitality. This paved the way for NEC to enjoy a long term relationship with both The Federation Cup and, a little later, one of the longest running and most unique packages – The Davis Cup by NEC.
The Davis Cup
The re-building of the Davis Cup had been on the West Nally drawing-board for several years. It was thought it would suit a global brand like American Express or similar. There were substantial problems with the format as each
Davis Cup took 16 months of play to complete each year’s competition. The public were left in confusion and the impact of the competition was reduced.
With NEC enjoying their role on the women’s Federation Cup tennis, we were able to secure assurances of funding that enabled the ITF to re-format the Davis Cup into a 16 top tennis nation Super League. This started in 1981 and NEC remained the sponsor until 2002.
The revised format also cleared the way for a neat and precise image that could include not only NEC but a range of other carefully selected and image enhancing partners.