Marketing Campaign Supports Third Year of US Open Series

July 11, 2006 02:54 PM

USTA Launches New Multimillion Dollar Marketing Campaign to Support Third Year of US Open Series

Ad Theme Features “The Greatest Road Trip in Sports”

National Campaign Features Top Men’s and Women’s Players in TV Spots for Second Year

Nationwide Media Plan Includes TV Ads on NBC, CBS and ESPN;
National Print Ads to Run in Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, USA Today, NY Times

© Phil Cole/Getty Images
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 11, 2006
– The USTA has announced the launch of its new marketing and advertising campaign for the 2006 US Open Series - the six-week tennis season that links the 10 ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour summer tournaments in North America to the US Open. The multimedia effort includes national television, radio, print, online and customized local executions in US Open Series markets, and marks the second year of a fully integrated and combined promotion campaign for men’s and women’s pro tennis in the U.S.

The new creative tag -- “The Greatest Road Trip in Sports… 6 Weeks, 10 Tournaments, $2 Million On The Line” -- breaks on NBC’s coverage of the Wimbledon finals. The campaign highlights the North American voyage undertaken by the sport’s biggest international stars, reflecting the USTA’s continued effort to market the sport of tennis in a unique and different way to sports fans and to drive viewers to US Open Series coverage every weekend.

Two 30-second TV ads, shot in Indian Wells and Miami, feature the sport’s top stars in an off-court setting discussing their summer-long trek across North American cities with more than $30 million in total prize money and $2.2 million available to the male and female winners. Players included in the campaign include Andre Agassi, James Blake, Bob and Mike Bryan, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Roger Federer, Martina Hingis, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. The spots, produced by Arnold Worldwide’s New York office, conclude with the tagline, “When the greatest tennis players in the world hit the road…anything can happen.”

“The national campaigns for the US Open Series have raised the visibility of players and tournaments to new levels and it is very positive for the sport,” said two-time US Open champion Venus Williams. “’The Greatest Road Trip in Sports’ is a theme you can have a lot of fun with.”

“Last year’s campaign resonated with fans and players,” said Michelle Wilson, Managing Director, Marketing, USTA. “This year is no different. Everyone can relate to a summer road trip through America. And the players really had fun with it, letting their personalities show through.”

Spots will air nationally in and outside of tennis programming on CBS, ESPN2, NBC, and The Tennis Channel. Print executions will appear throughout the summer in USA Today, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and SportsBusiness Journal, and for the first time ever in Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveler and Architectural Digest. All national ads will direct consumers to Re-launched this week with a new look and features, the site is the home for the latest information on the US Open Series, including full television listings.

Television ads have also been tailored specifically for local tournaments including the RCA Championships, Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Pilot Pen Tennis, Rogers Masters and Rogers Cup. Select TV ads will incorporate the new Lever 2000 sponsorship of the US Open Series Lever 2000 Challenge. An accompanying radio campaign will air in markets around the country including more than 30,000 spots through Westwood One to drive television tune-in.

The new US Open Series marketing effort is the latest in a series of innovations to elevate the profile of professional tennis in the U.S. Last month, the USTA announced that instant replay would be used at all 10 US Open Series tournaments this summer prior to its introduction at the 2006 US Open for the first time. In addition, tournaments will feature in-stadium video boards to show replays and highlights to fans on-site.