LTA seeks celebrities to win over teenagers

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is searching for young celebrities to endorse the sport in an attempt to appeal more to teenagers.

The organisation is investing a six-figure sum in the celebrity drive, which will result in a campaign promoting the endorsement.

It has hired lifestyle marketing agency Exposure, which has worked on previous projects for the LTA, to give the sport an urban, cool image.

Exposure is the body's first retained agency, taking the business after a four-way competitive pitch.

Targets include footballers, urban music stars and fashion icons. The chosen stars will support the LTA through a number of marketing initiatives designed to end the sport's image as elitist and inaccessible to young people living in cities.

Exposure will also make use of the LTA's existing relationships with ambassadors for the sport such as Tony Blair, John McEnroe and Boris Becker.

The celebrity initiative is the latest in a series of attempts by the LTA to broaden the appeal of the sport to include younger audiences.

This summer, during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the organisation ran a special storyline in The Beano. The comic strip, featuring world number two Andy Roddick playing Dennis the Menace, promoted children's game Mini Tennis (Marketing, 9 June).

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