This is the story how Serena Williams baby girl played with the Little Sport Star baby tennis racket in a Chase Manhattan ad. I am sure it was a magical moment however it was cut from the final version that has gone viral on YouTube.
The ad focuses on Serena’s comeback after motherhood, although as the catchy rap tells you, this ain’t no comeback, she has been here before. We are delighted for Serena, but obviously gutted because we would love to have a baby tennis racket in the final clip.
So here is the story. Serena’s agency actually asked me if they could use the Little Sport Star baby tennis racket in an ad for Chase Manhattan bank earlier in the summer. You can imagine our reaction. Personally, I don’t think I even tried to conceal my excitement.
When you launch a brand, you scream out for celebrities to endorse your brand and there is probably no better mama and daughter than the Williams family to endorse Little Sport Star. She is the greatest tennis player of all time, so it was a “yes” from us!
Serena Williams is not only an exceptional tennis player, she is also a mama. Yes, I know she can afford all sorts of child care – but only if she wants to because she faces the same issues all working mamas do. Needless to say, we were wild with excitement.
In the past, I have sent lots of gifts to celebrities for their babies, in the blind hope that maybe they will be spotted with them. I have never heard back from any of them although I know they like the toys. Usually celebrities are wrapped up in endorsement deals which prevents them endorsing other product. If Nespresso were paying you lots of money to promote their coffee, you would think twice before you endorse a baby toy. I just hope that they tell their friends about our unique range of toys. I have to admit, I keep on checking the magazines in the vain hope that a celebrities’ baby will have been snapped, engrossed, playing with one of our baby toys because they are great toys.
You can imagine my reaction, therefore, when I have Serena William’s agent asking if she can use our baby tennis racket in an ad. What? It is usually me doing the asking. I don’t think I even ask, I plead! Furthermore, it is complicated. Serena Williams is not just a business, her name is a brand so I had to fill out legal forms authorising her agency to use my toys, as if I might raise an objection.
I was going crazy with anticipation. I offered to send them a tennis racket. I think I actually offered to send 100. But it turned out Serena actually already had one. I know that because I sent her one when her baby was born. Until this point, I hadn’t heard if she had even opened it.
I can imagine Serena has to be careful with her sponsors. Chase Manhattan bank put together this amazing Youtube clip and so I hope they don’t mind me sharing this “nearly” story, when the real story is the amazing clip and their bank. When my kids are older, I will be telling them about the day one of my baby toys nearly appeared in an ad with with the greatest tennis player of all time for Chase Manhattan bank.
I had also better mention Wilson. My wife has a Wilson tennis racket and they are great. In fact, they are amazing tennis rackets but they are totally different to the Little Sport star tennis racket. We only make tennis rackets for babies! The Little Sport Star tennis racket is only nine inches long and is soft and plush, it does not even have strings – too much of a choking hazard!
The long and short of what I am saying, is that we did not make it into the amazing youtube clip by Chase Manhattan bank featuring Serena Williams. We were edited out at the final cut! Ouch, that hurts to write.
If anyone has read John McEnroe’s autobiography “But Seriously”, John also laments that he was cut out of an Adam Sandler movie “Anger Management”. (He actually made the European version of the film!). John has since gone onto to feature in other movies and ads. Like John, I had told my friends and family about this amazing opportunity and so it is with gritted teeth that I now tell them we did not make the final cut.
I have to say, watch the clip anyway, because it is awesome. Credit to the New York agency that made it. I have learnt a lot from them.
Disappointed, yes. But running a business is a bit like a game of tennis: when a ball is called out, you focus on the next point, and that is what we will do.
I am sure you will see our baby tennis racket in the future.
Watch #thismama here, “mama is going to knock you out”: