With Tennis on The Upswing, AmEx Site Serves Up Young Players

Brandweek, NY Sports Journalism, Tuesday, August 24, 2010 10:36 AM
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As part of the sponsorship deal American Express has forged with the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament this year, its NextContenders.com site allows fans to get a behind-the-scenes look at four young players -- John Isner, Sam Querrey, Caroline Wozniacki and Melanie Oudin, Elaine Wong reports.

Viewers can watch a video about what it takes to become a rising tennis star, as well as follow tweets and posts about the players. The site will be updated during the tournament, which runs Aug. 30 - Sept. 12, with interviews from the players, their coaches and family members.

AmEx has been a sponsor of the Open for 17 years. This year's approach is designed to bring fans "closer to the sport they love with unique experiences and a fresh perspective on the game," says Jessica Igoe, AmEx's sponsorship marketing director.

Meanwhile, Barry Janoff reports in NY Sports Journalism that domestic and worldwide sponsorship spending on amateur and professional tennis tournaments, leagues and sanctioning bodies is expected to total $600 million in 2010, a 3.2% increase over 2009.

"The sport of tennis has largely replaced the fallout in spending by financial services and automobile companies with new categories, most notably beer and spirits," according to William Chipps, senior editor of IEG Sponsorship Report, which came up with the figures.

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