GETTING IN THE GAME: In what is one of its top five investments for this year’s marketing initiatives, Lilly Pulitzer has partnered with the Women’s Tennis Association.
The yearlong commitment is upward of six figures, according to Lilly Pulitzer chief executive officer Michelle Kelly. The partnership has three components — product donations for courtside personnel, charitable giving and sponsorship. Lilly Pulitzer’s “Be the Sunshine” campaign will start with a $50,000 donation to WTA Charities, the association’s philanthropic arm. Lilly Pulitzer and WTA Charities will join forces to promote positivity and inspire confidence through WTA Charities programs. For starters on Sunday, International Women’s Day, Lilly Pulitzer will donate 20 percent of its Prosecco Pink Fronds Place tennis collection sales in store and online to WTA Charities.
In advance of next week’s WTA Masters/BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., a Lilly Pulitzer pop-up store will bow in Palm Desert Saturday with help from former pro Tracy Austin. WTA president Micky Lawler and Kelly will also be on hand, and the pair will host a Facebook Live talk about the importance of promoting positivity in the game of tennis, inspirational leadership and other pertinent topics. A Lily Pulitzer print designer will be in the pop-up “live painting” at the event. And 10 percent of sales that day will benefit WTA Charities, Kelly said. The partnership is meant to bolster sales for the brand’s tennis apparel.
Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 on the principle of equal opportunity for women in sport. Given that, the WTA seemed to be “the perfect fit to get the word out about the brand in general,” Kelly said. “It’s such a great fit in terms of mission. We really believe in getting people to feel more confident, optimistic and go out and ‘be the sunshine in their community.’ That is often a phrase that we use and it is really a tagline for the year.”