Behind the Scenes at the Sony Ericsson Open: Priceless

As MasterCard’s only U.S. blogger invited to participate in the brand’s “priceless” experience, the blogger program invites top international writers to attend the Sony Ericsson Open with VIP access to suites, top players and private Ericsson-sanctioned events.

Following an extravagant welcoming dinner with fellow bloggers and MasterCard execs at acclaimed Japanese restaurant, Zuma, our diverse team geared up for a behind the scenes tour of the Sony Ericsson with Tournament Director Adam Barrett. With writers traveling from Mexico, Argentina and Brazil to partake in the experience, the program garners international reach.

From the entrance of the venue to the Grand Slam courts and players’ lounge, Barrett took us through every detail involved in creating an event of this magnitude. “Well first, we really want to create vibrancy through color, and then you take that color all the way through the site,” said Barrett. “In this case we partner with Sony Ericsson and we bring in their color throughout the site. And their colors really work because they create energy. We create a dramatic entrance and we take people from where they are in their daily lives and bring them into a show. We give them as much value as we possibly can.”

Upon entering the site, Rolex timepieces and extravagant sports cars from Jaguar, Porsche and Audi are lining the path that leads to the courts. “What makes brands valuable are other premium brands. We wanted this to be a corporate high-end brand, and we think about that property value philosophy,” explained Barrett. “We have the Audis, the Jags, the Porsche, and we elevate everyone’s brand by brand association. As a premium brand, MasterCard works well into our philosophy.”

The Sony Ericsson is a global event that invites 41 sponsors and 500 media channels from 32 countries to take part in a star-studded tennis series that delivers much more than matches. The Ericsson is an experience outside of tennis, inviting attendees to enjoy an array of savory libations and bites while shopping in one of the many retail spots or watching their favorite players go head to head.

From beginning to end, the Ericsson is an upscale, annual event that unites affluent crowds from around the world. “Every guest is VIP, but you have your top VVIP and we have our celebrity programs. We cater to celebrities and high-end executives and help them through the process, because it’s great for our image and it’s great to get non-tennis types to experience this. So we’ve had everyone from Jamie Foxx to Kristin Davis and Ludacris,” said Barrett.

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