Esurance, AmEx Serve Up U.S. Open Activities

by , Aug 31, 2011, 1:37 PM
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Esurance and American Express are serving up a range of activities this weekend in conjunction with their U.S. Tennis Association's U.S. Open tennis tournament.

American Express is a top-tier sponsor. Other sponsors in that category include Chase, JP Morgan, Citizen, IBM, Mercedes-Benz and Olympus. Esurance is a tier two sponsor and is joined by Heineken, Polo by Ralph Lauren, United Airlines and Xerox. Tier three sponsors include Adecco, Evian, Gatorade, Grey Goose, Moet & Chandon, Nabisco, The New York Times, Nirmal Lifestyle, Panasonic, ticketexchange, Tiffany & Co., Westin and Wilson.

Esurance is the official car insurance of the 2011 U.S. Open and is in the second year of a three-year sponsorship deal. "Partnering with the USTA and sponsoring the Open is a great way to increase our exposure to a wider audience," says an Esurance spokesman. "The 2010 Open drew more than 710,000 fans; more than 70 million domestic TV viewers watched the Open last year."

Esurance has sponsored tennis events since 2005. Since 2007, Esurance has been the title sponsor of the Esurance Tennis Classic, which takes place in Northern California and benefits the Harbor Point Charitable Foundation. This year's event takes place Sept. 23-25, 2011, and will include John McEnroe, the Bryan Brothers, Tracy Austin, Gigi Fernandez and Murphy Jensen.

An onsite spotter team for Esurance at the Open will be giving away prizes to attendees wearing an Esurance tag they can pick up at the company's booth. Prizes include U.S. Open gift cards, Evian water, rain ponchos, seat cushions, lip balm and sunscreen. At the Esurance booth, visitors can get their picture taken via green screen technology with doubles champions Mike and Bob Bryan, and download them or share them with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Touchscreen kiosks will also offer tennis tips with the brothers as well as entry into Esurance's "Play with the Pros" sweepstakes.

American Express, which has been a sponsor for 18 years, is introducing several new programs. The U.S. Open American Express Fan Experience is an interactive space featuring a digitized serve analysis. The American Express Court Curator helps fans to customize their trip to the U.S. Open. The company is also offering an exclusive deal for American Express card members to use at concession stands and retail outlets on-site at the tournament.

"We are connecting fans closer to the game than ever before by giving them insights into who to watch on the courts, helping them improve their own game and giving them a way to support the tennis community throughout the country," said Alexander Chang, vice president of global sponsorships and access for American Express, in a release.

For the first time, American Express will provide tennis fans at this year's Open with a space to help improve their game, get inside information about how to make the most of their day at the US Open, hear from experts including Chris Evert, and take advantage of cardmember concierge services.

Expanding the company's recent partnerships with Facebook and Foursquare, American Express is introducing an exclusive offer where cardmembers who sync their American Express Card can receive a one-time $10 statement credit after spending $20 on onsite concessions and retail. Fans can visit http://www.nextcontenders.com/ for more information and to register their card to receive this offer.

American Express also is giving tennis fans insights into the "next contenders," the up-and-coming players in the game of tennis. Chris Evert will be providing her insights and encourage tennis fans nationwide to join the conversation and support their favorite players. Through Sept. 11, consumers can tweet the name of their favorite player using #GoNextContenders. American Express will donate $1 per tweet using the hashtag -- up to $50,000 -- to the Fresh Courts community reinvestment program that refurbishes tennis courts around the U.S., created in partnership between American Express and the USTA.

Using either the official US Open iPhone or Android Application, fans can access an insider's guide to the tournament, including an interactive grounds map highlighting American Express card member benefits, video content with professional players and USOpen.org Radio with the "Courtside Q&A," where consumers can submit questions via email or Twitter for the chance to have them answered by tennis insiders throughout the tournament.

For those fans who cannot experience the action in person at this year's championship, American Express is bringing the action to hometowns across the country with live viewing parties in New York (Sept. 5-11), San Francisco (Sept. 10-11), Chicago (Sept. 10-11) and Houston (Sept. 10-11) featuring large viewing screens, stadium seating and interactive concessions.

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