“Did I put a sentence together?!”
That was the first question I asked my colleague and partner in crime Christian Robins, just after we walked off stage to accept the award for Outstanding Achievement for Commercials- Single Spot.
As I walked up to the podium that night, the only thing I could think of was just how many people we needed to thank. I think I mentioned it in my speech, but it takes an army to make good things happen and we were extremely fortunate to have the best team work on Brand Anthem.
Having a Brand Anthem is something my boss Jon Muir had wanted for a while and we were committed to make it happen. We dove in right away… I wrote a script, started reviewing the footage that Robin Fenlon and I had shot over the past year and worked with our crew at Bridges: Christian, Chris Dilillo and Erica Hilbert. This was going to be our biggest project to date and I knew it was a going to go well when we hit the editing bay with a Bari meatball sandwich in hand! Haha J It is always a blast working with Bridges…they are amazingly insightful and sharp. Christian is a genius with the visual effects and came up with a super cool treatment for the piece. We are fortunate to have his talent every step of the way.
Wilson has been based in Chicago for almost 100 years, so we wanted to make sure that the music we chose had ties to the city. It was rad to get Chicago native Kaskade aka Ryan Raddon as part of this project. We chose Kaskade “Eyes”, which is one of the my favorite ‘get psyched’ songs of all time.
This spot really makes me smile because it is a culmination of a lot of hard work from our team and fun memories from on the road. Robin and I spent a crazy amount of time together trying to capture these great moments around Wilson in tennis. Robin is a former pro BMX’r that brings a unique look to our brand and he has been an important part of the Wilson team for a couple of years now. Most importantly, he is someone I can discuss my love of the fish eye lens with.
My career as a WTA professional tennis player was cut short due to injury and there is no guide book on ‘how to transition from pro sports’ into a ‘normal’ job or life. If you ask any former pro athlete what they intend on doing after they play, most of the time they would not have a clear answer. I have been fortunate enough to have people that believed in me and my talent. Their support has led me to the some of my favorite moments in my life: coaching kids to receive a tennis scholarship to a Division 1 schools, directing a pro tennis tournament, raising over $350+k for a two children’s charities, starting Wilson social media, setting a Guinness Book of World Records and now WINNING AN EMMY! Tennis has given me so many unique experiences that I can never get enough of trying to put that passion on screen.
The Brand Anthem really represents everything Wilson Sporting Goods does in tennis. It is meant to inspire the next generation of tennis players. Wilson has been part of more winning moments in tennis than any other brand (with over 500+ Grand Slam titles won with a Wilson racket), but those results come from the hard work and dedication to our grassroots efforts at all levels of the sport: kids, coaches, players and partnerships. Roger Federer started playing Wilson when he was 6 and now owns almost every tennis record there is.. all playing with a Wilson racket. We wanted to have this spot represent that love and passion we have for tennis.
We would have never thought that we would win an Emmy, but it just shows that anything is possible with passion, determination and the right team in your corner.
It means a lot to us that Brand Anthem was recognized and that it resonated with our peers.
Thank you again.
PS And maybe I am biased now, but an Emmy sure beats a Wimbledon trophy! 😉