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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Tennis Channel Gets Warm & Fuzzy

Entered in Branded Series


Professional tennis players have enough to deal with. Constant travel, immense pressure on the court and, critically, dealing with reporters and the media searching for any angle possible.

Tennis Channel saw the writing on the wall and decided it was time to give pros a place to get away from it all—an oasis of fun and a way for fans to engage in a unique way. 

Warm & Fuzzy is the talk show that brings the human side of tennis to life. Hosted by comedian and former tennis pro Michael Kosta (The Daily Show contributor), this humorous and accessible series lets players kick back and show fans what they're like off the court.

After a very successful first season, Warm & Fuzzy made some impressive changes for season two—including a new studio design, a resident harpist (to keep the vibe chill), games and magic tennis ball—that lets players have some fun and release from the rigors of the pro tour. 


Strategy and Execution

As the leading voice for the sport, Tennis Channel knew it had an opportunity (and responsibility) to give tennis pros a chance to show their human side. 

Though Warm & Fuzzy is entertainment, the message is that elite athletes are multidimensional and interesting human beings. The initial season launched during Mental Health Awareness Month and tackled the topic with pros like Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff openly discussing mental health. 

Also, from a practical perspective, the brand strives to build its already strong audience with the addition of younger and more diverse fans. 

Other important strategic elements include the show's set design and production. The whimsical space is calming yet optimistic, and the segment production designs appeal to a growing, social-first fan base. Moreover, it’s creating a safe space for pro tennis players—not just as athletes, but as humans first. 

Michael Kosta as host was an intentional choice. As a former pro tennis player, he has a great deal of empathy towards the pressures players face and the tour's rhythms. Additionally, Kosta’s humor balances tough subjects in a genuinely accessible way, is paced well and meets pro players where they are as humans first. 


Over 2M views

Show was renewed for another season due to its popularity


Video for Tennis Channel Gets Warm & Fuzzy

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Zambezi, Tennis Channel


Entry Credits