Case Study

Serene results using Serena Williams

WHO: Tennis Australia

WHAT: Generate publicity and ticket sales for Sydney International

WHY: Leverage investment by sponsors and generate ticket sales

HOW: Promotion with Serena Williams, and one of Australia's leading jewellers


Create a publicity initiative with Serena Williams that was deeper than just a fashion piece, and that portrayed her pursuits off the court. The initiative needed to fit into Serena’s practice and training schedule and could not interfere with her match preparation. The angle needed to be of appeal to the tournament’s media partners to guarantee prime news positioning and broadcast.


Working with Channel 7 and Australia’s King of Bling, Nic Cerrnone, Serena spent time at the House of Cerrone where she shared with Nic her interest in jewellery design and making and her love of diamonds. Initially a 40 minute engagement, this was extended when she was shown into the workshop and saw first hand the range of processes and met with a range of craftsmen. Nic educated Serena to the range of precious stones unique to Australia and provided her with a $3 million diamond necklace to wear to her first round match press conference and players’ party.


Record number of crowds was achieved on day one to watch Serena’s opening match. Overall crowd numbers increased by 7% from the previous year and there was a 30% increase in revenues. National and international TV coverage linking the publicity engagement with the Medibank International Sydney 2009. National print coverage. Footage also featured on a range of on-line news distributors and on Serena’s website.