No Pregnant Pause For Serena Williams in Signing Deals To Support Motherhood
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 03:27PM in Ad Campaigns, Serena Williams, Tempur-Pedic, ad campaigns, sports marketing, tennis

By Barry Janoff

May 9, 2017: Serena Williams may be taking a year off to have her first baby, but she is not taking any time off from signing marketing deals.

In her first pact since sharing the news that she soon would be a first-time mom, Serena Williams has signed with Tempur Sealy to appear in its Tempur-Pedic "Sleep Is Power" campaign.

Although Williams said she would not compete on the tennis circuit this season, this deal is likely the start of several alliances tied to her becoming a new mother.

Williams said the alliance was organic as she has been a customer for ten years.

"For ten years, my Tempur-Pedic has adapted to my weight and my shape, relieving pressure points from head to toe,” Williams says in the anchor TV spot, "Pressure." "So I sleep deeply and wake up ready to perform. Even with the weight of history on my shoulders.”

According to Williams, currently ranked No. 2 in the world by the WTA, "Over the years, my routine off the court — eating well, staying positive and getting quality sleep — has paid dividends. Now as I start a new journey into motherhood, sleep will continue be a top priority for my family. I look forward to what lies ahead, including in my tennis career — all while being powered by Tempur-Pedic."

The multi-media campaign includes TV, Internet and social media and is part of a larger "Power" effort by Tempur-Pedic that will ramp up worldwide.

"Power" features nine Tempur-Pedic owners who spend their days doing things such as instructing military free-fall skydiving, snowboarding and training for duathlons.

Like Williams, they then spend their nights on a Tempur-Pedic mattress.

“The campaign illustrates that sleep on a Tempur-Pedic changes the way people feel and how they perform, and showcases the significant positive effects that Tempur-Pedic sleep has on their lives," according to the brand.

Tempur Sealy this month also signed Michelle Salt, Canadian Paralympic snowboarding champ, author, and fitness model, who lost her right leg after a motorcycle accident in 2011.

The brand last week shared Q1 finances, sharing that total net sales increased to $722.1 million from $721 million in Q1 2016.

"With the launch of this campaign, which is supported by a significant increase in national media, we are primed to see unprecedented demand for Tempur-Pedic," Rick Anderson, evp and president-North America for Tempur Sealy, said in a statement. "Consumers, inspired by Williams and the remarkable stories from these owners will be able to walk in to one of our retailers feeling confident and prepared to buy Tempur-Pedic products."

Williams is the world’s highest paid women’s athlete, taking in some $20 million from endorsements and more than $9 million in winnings last year, according to industry analysts.

She also has deals that include Nike, IBM, Gatorade, Beats by Dre, Burlei and Audemars Piuget; equity in Mission and Home Shopping Network and a minority investment in the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

Financial terms of her alliance with Tempur-Pedic were not revealed.

"Through our 'Power' campaign, which debuted in late February, consumers are able to see firsthand how current owners, including Serena Williams, perform at their best and optimize their personal growth by getting great sleep on a Tempur-Pedic," said Anderson. "As a longtime Tempur-Pedic owner and someone who lives our brand promise daily, we are proud that Serena is helping us tell our story."

In the 30-second "Pressure" ad, Williams is seen training, on the court and then relaxing on her Tempur-Pedic mattress.

"Pressure? I feel it every day," she offers in the spot. "But at night, it’s the last thing on my mind. For ten years, my Tempur-Pedic has adapted to my weight and my shape, relieving pressure points from head to toe. So I sleep deeply and wake up ready to perform. Even with the weight of history on my shoulders."

In a 15-second spot, "Pyramid Test," Williams is seen jumping on a Tempur-Pedic mattress that is stacked with tennis balls in the shape of a a pyramid. (Previous ads from the company show this demonstration with a stack filled wine glasses.) Despite her bounces, Williams is unable to topple the tennis balls until she knocks them over with the swing of her racquet.

Williams is expected to return in 2018 to continue to build on her current 23 Grand Slam titles.

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