USTA and American Express Sign New Multiyear Marketing Agreement for US Open and US Open Series

June 2, 2005 02:21 PM

US Open Advance Ticket Offer for American Express® Cardmembers Begins Wednesday, June 1 at 9:00 A.M.

Tickets Go On Sale to the General Public Monday, June 6

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 31, 2005 – The USTA and American Express announced a new sponsorship and marketing agreement extending American Express’ designation as the “Official Card” and “Official Travelers Cheque” of the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, held in New York, August 29 – September 11, 2005. In the new agreement, American Express also becomes an “Official Sponsor of the US Open Series,” the six-week summer tennis season that links all major North American tournaments to the US Open.

The first program under the extended relationship begins June 1-4, when American Express Cardmembers can purchase advance 2005 US Open tickets[1] with any American Express Card prior to the Monday, June 6 general public sale through or by calling Ticketmaster at 866-OPEN-TIX. The Early-On-Sale promotion will be supported by ads on local radio and in newspapers.

Cardmembers will also be able to redeem Membership Rewards® points for tickets, and as a special bonus, for every ticket purchased with an American Express Card for the first three evening sessions - - Monday, August 29 through Wednesday, August 31 - - the Cardmember will receive an additional ticket free.[2] Gold Card Events preferred lower Promenade seating is available for purchase by calling 1-800-NOW-AMEX from June 1 – July 15. Also, for the first time, Cardmembers will have the opportunity to purchase 2005 US Open subscriptions exclusively with their American Express Cards.

“American Express is an ideal partner for the US Open as they have set the standard on how to support and activate their sponsorship,” said Pierce O’Neil, Chief Business Officer, USTA. “We are thrilled to extend and expand our partnership with American Express at the US Open to now include the US Open Series.”

“The US Open is a premiere sporting event, and we are pleased to extend our long-standing commitment to the USTA,” said Nancy Smith, Vice President, Global Media and Sponsorship Marketing, American Express. “Bringing special access and experiences to Cardmembers at the US Open is one of the many ways we recognize and reward our Cardmembers, and we expect the ability to purchase tickets before the public will be highly popular again this year.”

In recent years, the USTA and American Express have developed extensive marketing initiatives designed to elevate the profile of the sport and enhance the experience of the US Open, including US Open-themed advertising and significant Cardmember benefits: “American Express Radio Live at the Open! ” - - live audio feeds of the television broadcasts from CBS Sports and USA Network via single channel personal radios[3]; information centers and concierge services; and pedestrian pedicabs to shuttle all attendees to and from the entrance of the USTA National Tennis Center. American Express again will sponsor Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess on Saturday, August 27, a full-day tennis and music festival for children and families.

American Express will have significant presence at the US Open through signage in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, and the Grandstand, as well as video and message boards throughout the grounds for the duration of the tournament.

Tickets for the US Open and Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day go on sale to the general public Monday, June 6 at 9 A.M. ET through, at all Ticketmaster locations, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX, and at the USTA National Tennis Center box office in Flushing, N.Y.

The US Open Series is the six-week summer tennis season linking 10 major ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments to the US Open. The US Open Series launched in 2004, and resulted in record attendance and TV viewership with over 200 live broadcast hours. Television viewership was up over 50%, with regularly scheduled broadcasts on ESPN, CBS, NBC Sports, and The Tennis Channel. In total, the US Open Series events - - including the US Open - - generated a record 1.5 million attendees, 126 million TV viewers and over 15 million website visits, making it the strongest summertime property in sports. Lindsay Davenport and Lleyton Hewitt won the inaugural US Open Series.

The US Open is the highest annually attended sporting event in the world with more than 625,000 fans. More than 86 million viewers watched the 2004 US Open on CBS Sports and USA Network, and international broadcasts reached 199 countries.