Australian Open Q&A with Matt Hair, Director of Sales – Sport

Hear from our Director of Sales – Sport, Matt Hair, about his experience working on the Aus Open and at Nine.

Tell us how your role will play or has played a part in helping Nine bring the Australian Open to life?

I’m so lucky, in my role I get to live the dream spreading the love of sport. I’m responsible for commercialising the Australian Open by working with brand partners in developing strategic and integrated client solutions across Total TV, Total Audio and Total Publishing.  

The team I lead is dedicated to creating exceptional experiences for our partners and stakeholders. From August until January we spend our days developing bespoke integrated clients solutions to drive added value and amplify partners marketing strategies within the AO environment. In the AO in 2023, my team has worked with the following brand partners: Uber Eats, Samsung, Qantas, Chubb, Berocca, Stan, Optus, Gordon’s Gin, Ralph Lauren and many more.

What is your favourite part about working on the Australian Open?

To start with, it’s clearly an amazing event to work on. Who doesn’t love tennis, food, fashion, music and entertainment all in one place in the middle of summer. But I think for me personally it’s the opportunity to work with so many different brand partners in so many categories. All the business challenges are different, therefore the solutions we develop across TV, Audio and Publishing are always so different and interesting. Even the same client like Uber Eats has had a different campaign across the past 4 years. It’s just so interesting and the challenges that are thrown up are fun to work on. I’m surrounded by a great team that help make this all happen.

Can you tell us about how you first came to join Nine, and why?

My career prior to Nine was in FMCG working for large multinationals in marketing and commercial roles in Australia and the UK. I spent 11 years with Johnson & Johnson Consumer. 

With Nine came the opportunity to combine my passion for sport and business. I met a wonderful man named Sam Brennan at Nine and thankfully an opportunity came up to lead the Sydney Sales sport team. The last 6 years have flown by and the role has changed so much… for the good!

Thinking back to when you first started at Nine, and to where you are now, what has changed for you? What has made an impact for you at Nine?

I started selling NRL and Cricket on broadcast only, now I sell NRL, tennis, rugby, cricket, golf across Total TV, Total Audio and Total Publishing. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to grow and develop enormously within my current role, working alongside an amazing team. The business has changed so much and I’ve been the beneficiary of this change with my role expanding. 

Tell us about some of the key moments you’re most proud of that have shaped your career at Nine over the years.

I was here in year one when Nine won the broadcast rights to the Australian Open. From a commercial standpoint, I was lucky enough to manage the Uber Eats campaign that everybody remembers. We disrupted the audience and tricked them with those iconic ads such as with with Nick Kyrgios and Rafa Nadal. Many years on we still receive client briefs asking us to do what Uber Eats did in the tennis. This is just one example of some of the fun campaigns I’ve worked on in sport.

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