The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has a lot to celebrate this year—mainly, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Open. While the tournament itself isn’t until Aug. 27, the USTA kicked off the celebration with a new brand campaign that includes a spot, “Built for Glory,” narrated by Alec Baldwin.
“We wanted to really celebrate our story past over the last 50 years but also celebrate a new vision for the future and showcase how all the enhancements we’ve been making to the grounds … culminate this year with the conclusion of the transformation,” Nicole Kankam, managing director, USTA, said.
McGarryBowen handled creative for the 60-second spot. It’s a different type of ad for the U.S. Open, according to Kankam. Typically, the USTA will run ads to drive ticket sales for the tennis event. It will still do that closer to the date of the U.S. Open, but this new spot is intended to focus more on brand promotion and some of the great talent in the past, present and future.
The ad is also meant to highlight the USTA’s efforts to bring the U.S. Open into a modern era for modern fans, aka millennials. “We want to ensure we’re delivering on an event that attracts new, younger, more diverse fans,” Kankam explained. Additionally, it’s meant to highlight some of the work that has been going into the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the U.S. Open is held each year.
The USTA also released a new logo for the U.S. Open for the first time since 1997, created by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. The thinking behind the updated logo goes along with the USTA’s goal of modernity for a new generation of fans. While fans will recognize the flaming ball from the previous logo, the new logo is definitely sleeker. While Kankam said that the logo’s flaming ball “still stay[s] true to the core essence of our brand,” the new logo is “more streamlined and more simplified,” which she expects will “work well in digital.”
Additionally, in the months leading up to the U.S. Open, the USTA will roll out three different vignettes tied to the “Built for Glory” campaign. These will feature what Kankam described as the “builders of glory,” or the people who have made the sporting event what it is today.
One such spot will focus on champions of equality and will feature Billie Jean King discussing how she partnered with the association to become the first grand slam to offer equal prize money to men and women. Another will focus on chefs and the food experience at the U.S. Open. The final vignette will look at the father and son architects (Gino and Matt Rossetti) responsible for designing the original and redesigned Arthur Ashe Stadiums.