American Express serves up social content, app promotions for US Open
- American Express is returning as a sponsor of the US Open this year, adding new installations at the site of the tennis tournament and building on its relationship with brand ambassador Venus Williams, according to a press release made available to Mobile Marketer.
- The effort this year includes a two-part social content series starring Williams, which gives fans a playful behind-the scene glimpse into how the US Open champion merges her business life with tennis. The series will live on American Express' social channels, the release said.
- American Express is also adding a dedicated section within the U.S. Tennis Association's mobile US Open App, where eligible card members can access special offers and unlock an "Amex Map View" of the tournament grounds. That view highlights members-only installations and benefits, including special offers at the US Open American Express Fan Experience on-site.
American Express' marketing around this year's US Open points to how marketers are elevating sponsorships beyond simply tying their name and brand to the tennis grand slam. While tennis fans might be chastised for having their phone out during a match, the reality is that many attending the event are likely to be using the official US Open app, putting American Express in front of a highly-relevant audience to whom it can provide guidance and promotions.
The trend overall is that technology and mobile technology, in particular, are becoming a bigger part of sports and other live events as a means to boost engagement. At Wimbledon earlier this summer, IBM partnered with The All England Lawn Tennis Club to introduce a number of new tech integrations, including a mobile-minded IBM "SlamTracker," which highlighted matches of interest with real-time scores, stats and insights, and a Watson-powered cognitive assistant called "Ask Fred" integrated into apps around the event.
American Express working with Williams again for social content follows a successful effort from 2016. It isn't the only brand that has tied its US Open marketing to the channel. Last year, Grey Goose ran tournament commentary from retired tennis star Andy Roddick which was hosted on Periscope and Twitter. The US Open's grounds also offer some unique opportunities for on-site activations this year, like photo booths hosted by water brand Evian which encourage visitors to share GIFs they create using their mobile phone.