AmEx Preps Perennial U.S. Open Sponsorship

James Blake U.S. Open-Amex campaignThe Olympics aren't even over, but that doesn't mean it's not time to begin thinking about the next sports marketing event.

American Express, which has backed the U.S. Open tennis tournament for the past 15 years, is once again prepped to help promote this year's event with several different efforts--including a print, outdoor and online advertising campaign and personalized programming at the event itself.

The advertising effort kicked off Thursday with out-of-home placements throughout New York City. The ads feature Venus Williams and James Blake, following the company's well-known "Are you a Cardmember?" theme.

"We know these players are well-liked and relevant to the NY area," says Jessica Igoe, director of global sponsorship marketing, tells Marketing Daily: "It's a way to connect with our customers. For us, it gives us a way to stop people in their tracks and say that's cool to look at, and then it highlights the benefits that fans and card members can get on-site."



Among other on-site amenities, the company will provide free personal televisions that American Express cardholders can borrow for a day at the Arthur Ashe Stadium and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Grounds. Via the televisions, spectators can watch matches on all the courts, as well as access draws, live scoring and player bios.

Programming on the sets will also include a channel with Williams, Blake and Billie Jean King sharing their beloved moments of the tournament. Content for that channel will be updated with other players sharing their memories throughout the tournament, Igoe says. "The TVs will have these unique moments as well as be a guide to the Open," Igoe says. "Everything we do on-site is to enhance the fan experience. It's to make the experience better. "

For non-cardholders and those who are not in New York for the tournament, the company is also sponsoring Web programming on the USOpen.org site, which will feature hourly updates from the Open, as well as other athletes sharing their memories of the U.S. Open.

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