SponsorUnited had courtside seats for the first day of the U.S. Open, when a slew of fans–and brands–descended on the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center for the celebrated two-week event.
This year, Cadillac replaced Mercedes-Benz as the elite tournament’s official vehicle, a long-term agreement that was announced in mid-August. The American carmaker’s presence was felt from the start, thanks to the fleet of vehicles that transport players and staff around New York during the two weeks of play stationed outside the tournament complex.
Inside the tennis center, Cadillac’s sponsorship gives the brand net signage on all 17 tournament courts at the Open, including practice courts and the match courts seen on ESPN, the event’s broadcast partner.
Located directly next to Arthur Ashe Stadium–the tournament’s premier venue–the Cadillac Pavilion features an immersive experience for fans that showcases the brand’s plans to be fully electric powered by the end of this decade, as well as its new electric SUV, the Lyriq, onsite for visitors to ogle. Along with the pavilion activation, Cadillac placed another Lyriq vehicle next to the practice courts for passers-by to peruse.
Another marquee sponsor, JP Morgan Chase, enjoyed pride of place at the Open with its Chase Lounge, located near the center’s entrance and exclusively accessible to cardholders.
American Express, a partner of the U.S. Open since 1994, is also making a splash with its Amex Fan Experience venue. Activations include glow tennis–a virtual game where fans volley a neon ball back and forth on a digital court–tennis-themed nail art, and a cardholder-only lounge where fans can enjoy refreshments while charging their devices. The venue also features a mini tennis court, a tennis-ball version of Connect 4, and a claw machine where skillful fans can win an Amex radio to listen to the tournament matches on ESPN.
Other brands are showcasing an array of predominantly tech-driven activations alongside the non-stadium courts. Wilson Sporting Goods’ virtual reality activation allows fans to don a headset that inserts them into a tennis match, while CHUBB sponsors a game where they pick up a racquet to “hit” a virtual ball that splatters virtual paint across a screen. Meanwhile, Chase’s outsize activation invites fans to play an array of video games, and also offers a photo opp in a mirrored selfie photo booth. Moderna gives fans the chance to sign a screen and have their signature emailed to them on a selfie, while a U.S. Open campaign, #BeOpen, lets fans use a selfie to create a GIF.
Besides touting its sleek seat design and in-flight leg space with a display and photo opportunity, Emirates Airlines also sponsored the NextGen Kids Zone, which offers a variety of onsite activities for little tennis fans like basketball, hockey, football, soccer and other sports.
For fatigued fans needing a pick-me-up, IHG Hotels & Resorts offers massages for joining their membership and rewards program.