The day I spent $12000 on a tennis day for 60 guests
Outside of my work and interest in brand and marketing, I am a professional tennis coach.
In 2011 I started a business called Taste of Wimbledon. It was to be a corporate tennis event and tennis holidays business. We wanted to dress the sport up and provide premium experiences to those passionate about tennis.
My business partner and I had also started a small tennis academy which would fund our marketing efforts with Taste of Wimbledon. So we decided to start with a launch of Taste of Wimbledon with a strictly invitation only guest list. We decided to use the money earned from our small tennis academy and spend it on our launch.
We invited people we knew were both interested in tennis and also influential and connected. Our strategy was to spread the word and ultimately sell our private corporate days and functions.
On the menu?
A tennis tournament with prizes
Special guest player and speaker and former Wimbledon champion - Paul Mcnamee
Exhibition match with former pro players headed up by Paul Mcnamee
Perth’s best caterer with a customised wimbledon menu
Wimbledon themed bar with unlimited drinks over the afternoon
The day was a huge success with guests treated with Wimbledon stories from Mcnamee, an enjoyable tennis tournament and an over the top wimbledon themed food and drinks package.
Although over the next few years we hosted several more events including tennis themed cocktail functions, corporate days, a trip to the Australian Open and we continued to run the annual Taste of Wimbledon event for 6 more years. The timing was not ideal with the corporate dollar very tight for luxuries such as corporate tennis days and we never really gained enough momentum for the business to flourish.
So was it worth the $12 k ? Probably not. But was a great learning experience and provided some amazing days to our guests who will remember them forever. We would of made our money back from that original launch but lets be honest, the intention was not to just make our money back.
So the lesson learnt was to not fall in love with the idea and to research what the customer wants and is prepared to purchase. Pushing something that we think is a cool idea only gets you so far. There has to a willing market for it.