3 Ways the US Open Aced their Social Offerings
America’s biggest tennis tournament is in full swing. More than 700 of the world’s best tennis players have gathered in the Big Apple to play for the US Open title and it’s drawing in some pretty cool fans.
From the players to the outfits, the tournament’s fan base has lots to talk about. While enthusiastic fans have lots to say, it’s up to the host of the event to create a space where people are encouraged to share their conversations and experiences.
This year the United States Tennis Associastion (USTA) has commissioned Spredfast to develop three interactive social walls in-venue and online at usopen.org with support and integration from IBM, the Official technology partner of the US Open. Each wall features a unique aspect of the tournament—the fans, the celebrities and tournament lifestyle, and, of course, the players themselves. USTA aligned each unique experience with sponsorships from American Express, Esurance, and IBM, respectively.
1. They’re serving up some variety with Social Sponsorships
The USTA isn’t throwing up a hashtag and hoping for the best—the organization is systematically presenting content to audiences in several sponsored ways.
Fans are pumped for the US Open and so is American Express. The company is sharing in the excitement by sponsoring a social wall that features fan’s conversations surrounding the tennis competition. Using the #AmexTennis hashtag fans can see their content featured on the US Open website or, if they’re lucky enough to be at the US Open, on screens at the event.
Esurance is an enthusiast of all things US Open-related and they’re using their social sponsorship to celebrate the tournament. Their Open World social wall encourages fans to #ShareTheOpen including everything “from great food to celeb sightings” for the chance to win cool giveaways.
As one of the leading technology and consulting organizations, IBM wanted a social experience that highlighted the numbers of the US Open. Their Player Pulse wall shows a ranking of the most talked about players and the overall volume of player mentions per day.
By clicking on any of the top 6 players fans can see that individual's total social mentions, mentions per hour, per minute, and a timeline of his/her mentions per day. A popularity bar explains what percentage of social mentions are positive vs. negative and a Twitter square updates with posts from celebrities and influencers mentioning the players.
2. They’re following through with in-venue experiences
The USTA is pleasing the crowd by focusing on the individual and their trip through the US Open arena. As they walk through the space, attendees can see each of the sponsored experiences on screens along with several other interactive screens such as the giant laser touch screen pictured below:
— corina barladeanu (@CorinaBarladean) August 26, 2014
When organizations follow through with their in-venue offerings they extend their relationship with attendees. “The USTA is providing fans with a number of innovative avenues to interact with during their event,” said Spredfast’s Senior Director of Sports, Brian Foley.“This allows for fans in-venue, at home, and on the go to participate in a dynamic, cohesive conversation, which effectively elevates the overall US Open experience far beyond that of your average spectator sport,” he said. Image Polls, Leaderboards, and Spotlights highlight the most interesting US Open social conversations throughout the tournament to reflect what audiences are thinking and feeling in real time.
3. They’re using trends to take their game to the next level
Fans can also engage with US Open Trendcast, presented by American Express. This is the second year that Spredfast has provided the social curation and visualization of Trendcast. Trendcast showcases the top trending topics related to the US Open which are displayed inside the US Open official Apps that are developed by IBM.
When fans select a trend they can look at Twitter and Instagram content to see all of the conversation happening within that specific trend. With Trendcast, US Open fans are staying up-to-date in one succinct location.
They’re creating a Grand Slam experience
At the end of the day, a brand’s social strategy is like a strong tennis serve: the most powerful results come from following through. From beginning to end, the USTA is putting fans first in-venue and online.
People are hungry for social data that will help them experience the event the way they want it. Through sponsorships, comprehensive data, and social experiences, the US Open is making that a reality for their audience.