How Lacoste’s Playful Activation Boosted Social Media Posts
At the clothing brand's "La Plage de Lacoste," fans at the Miami Open could play ping-pong and pose for selfies.
On the court, the Miami Open at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne dazzled, culminating in Roger Federer’s win over Rafael Nadal. Off the court, Lacoste, the tennis tournament’s official outfitter for the third consecutive year, notched up its presence with the debut of La Plage de Lacoste. Located in a prime spot next to the centerpiece Stadium Court, the “beach” offered fans recreational activities that thematically connected the brand’s French roots with the Miami Open’s ocean landscape.
Guests at La Plage could play ping-pong, croquet, or badminton; relax at French Riviera-style beach chairs and umbrellas; or pose with fabricated prop pieces of Lacoste’s crocodile logo—nicknamed the “selfie croc” by event organizers—as well as versions of two Parisian landmarks, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
The idea was to draw foot traffic and social-media engagement from the 306,000 fans who attended the tournament. Encouraging social posts was a top priority for the clothing brand and its production partner, Siinc Agency. Siinc used R.F.I.D. technology to track onsite registrations and social hits. Organizers provided R.F.I.D.-chip-embedded cards to guests that were swiped in exchange for a ping-pong paddle. Meanwhile, “mobile paparazzi” snapped attendees and instantly shared their photos with them. La Plage kept the buzz going with athlete signings and clinics with retired tennis greats Mats Wilander and Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten.
“The real estate where La Plage is now was underutilized last year,” said Isabel Chattas, co-owner of Siinc Agency. “Lacoste came to us and asked, ‘What do you think you can use in this space?’ We wanted to connect the project to Lacoste’s spirit. We looked into what would encourage participation.”
The strategy worked: Chattas estimated a 25-percent increase in activation engagement from last year, with Instagram proving to be the most popular platform for social-media sharing.
While La Plage was Lacoste’s biggest undertaking this year, Joëlle Grünberg, president and C.E.O. of Lacoste North America, stressed the importance of remaining visible beyond the park. “Miami is one of Lacoste’s biggest markets in terms of U.S. sales, so it’s important that we communicate about our partnership [with the tournament]," she said.
The activation also included previously successful elements including Lacoste’s co-branded Miami Open collection, which hit the online shop and local boutiques before the tournament began. The brand’s Lincoln Road store hosted the WTA Draw with sponsored competitors Dominika Cibulková and Christina McHale, and also created a Miami Open viewing lounge.
Back at Crandon Park, Lacoste’s More Tennis campaign featured daily courtside ticket giveaways. Additionally, a “Spot the Croc” effort surprised the most enthusiastic fans in the 300 or 400 levels with instant seat upgrades, including spots in Lacoste’s private hospitality suite.
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