When the hordes of spectators descend on the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y., this week for the U.S. Open, brands will pull out all the stops to lure them into their booths. From robots that zoom around to challenges that test fans’ ability to break tennis- themed world records, marketers will serve up on-site digital activations with an extra spin.
1. Real-Life Instagrams
Moët & Chandon’s sponsorship gives its long-term social #MoetMoment campaign a physical presence.
Life-size Instagram frames around a terrace prompt attendees to take and upload pictures in front of a branded backdrop. Photos tagged with the campaign’s hashtag are then entered to win sets of drinking glasses. Moët will also buy geo-targeted Promoted Tweets and Facebook ads to amplify its social push.
2. Long-Term Advantage
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s sponsorship builds awareness and membership efforts for its Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program with a microsite and online game.
There will be a big mobile push this year since more than 50 percent of the company’s Web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, noted Mark Vondrasek, Starwood’s svp of distribution, loyalty and partnership marketing.
3. Video HotShot
Heineken is challenging sports fans to set tennis-related world records at its U.S. Open booth for a chance to win tickets to the tournament’s final match.
A podium and digital leaderboard inside the Heineken House hosts challenges like twisting a tennis racket while bouncing a ball on it. Heineken will film and upload clips from the event to RecordSetter.com, giving at-home viewers the chance to beat the records.
4. Social Roaming
Esurance is taking social celebrity chats on the road this year with a video-conferencing robot—a contraption that attaches a tablet to a pair of wheels.
For the first week of the tournament, players will sign autographs at Esurance’s booth. Calls-to-action on Twitter will give at-home viewers the chance to talk to these players by tweeting. They will then be able to video chat via a Web camera while the players sign autographs. Fans will have a similar interaction with players as those on site, explained Esurance’s Chris Lee, senior manager of brand partnerships.
5. Scan to Win
Mercedes-Benz swaps out rearview mirror hang tags with dashboard parking tags this year that are embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
The tags include a bar code that attendees scan inside Mercedes-Benz’s brand center to win tennis gear and merchandise. “It all feeds up to a video monitor that then replicates the ‘in’ or ‘out’ shot that they are hypothetically taking to try to win a prize,” explained Eric Linder, supervisor, sports marketing and consumer events at Mercedes-Benz.
When the hordes of spectators descend on the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y., this week for the U.S. Open, brands will pull out all the stops to lure them into their booths. From robots that zoom around to challenges that test fans’ ability to break tennis-themed world records, marketers will serve up on-site digital activations with an extra spin.
6. Connected Bracelets
American Express is also using RFID technology for the first time this year with a program called MyOpen Pass. Once attendees register for the event, a wristband with an embedded technology chip will collect data about five of the on-site experiences housed within the U.S. Open American Express Fan Experience. For example, one area takes a 180-degree video of a fan’s best tennis shot. After the tournament, consumers will receive an email detailing their performance.