Over the last few years, brands have been researching and developing new ways to bring the consumer closer to events. Thanks to technological advancements, this year the US Open is providing tennis enthusiasts the opportunity to play a real-time match against Maria Sharapova.
Yes, you read that correctly. You can now put your tennis skills to the test against the Russian professional tennis player, who is ranked No. 2 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association. The US Open is providing ticket holders this once in a lifetime experience via a virtual-reality game titled ‘You vs. Sharapova.’ Fans will be able to try their hand at returning Sharapova’s blistering serves, volley against her and more.
“Our Card Members love the thrill of the US Open and the competitive fire it ignites within them, which is all magnified by the spirit of New York,” said Deborah Curtis, vice president, global sponsorships and experiential marketing, American Express. “This year we leveraged that insight to create experiences that get fans’ blood pumping from bringing fans up close and personal with Maria’s game to spreading the fervor around the tournament through social conversation across the country.”
Sharapova, who will be the face of American Express at the US Open this year, said, “The US Open is an electric event and American Express does a fantastic job engaging fans in the sport in new ways at the tournament year after year. I was thrilled when American Express approached me with the ‘You vs. Sharapova’ experience idea. American Express’s history with the US Open and in creating amazing experiences for Card Members like me made it an ideal fit.”
Furthermore, the 28-year-old will be involved in American Express projects throughout the year.
In addition to the ‘You vs. Sharapova’ virtual-reality game, American Express has other uber-cool onsite fan experiences. Event-goers can look forward to:
- Epic Matchup: Fans and their friends will be able to star in their very own shareable video simulating a rally from the tennis court baseline at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
- Staying Connected to Latest #USOpen Fan Buzz: American Express will take the hottest trending topics around this year’s game and encourage all US Open fans to participate by taking part in the conversations via the hashtag #AmexTennis
- International Tennis Hall of Fame Exhibit: The Original 9 and World Team Tennis, an exhibit about two important developments in the game of tennis, created by Hall of Famer and legend Billie Jean King. The exhibit explores the history and creation of the WTA Tour and the coed tennis league World Team Tennis through artifacts and imagery.
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