By Kait Shea
The 51st annual US Open Tennis Championships kicked off with a bang, drawing in a record 68,000 fans on Opening Day of the competition (Aug. 19 to Sept. 8) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, NY. In addition to catching all of the on-court action, attendees had the opportunity to mix and mingle with a variety of brands, thanks to a roster of 21 tournament sponsors. Here’s a look at five fan experiences that caught our attention.
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IHG Hotels & Resorts
IHG marked its debut at the US Open with a slate of fan experiences and a partnership with tennis legend Andy Roddick. The brand launched its sponsorship campaign Aug. 20-21 at its Kimpton Hotel Eventi property in Manhattan, where an ice cream cart serving flavors from Morgernstern’s Finest Ice Cream were served from noon to 4 p.m. Then on Aug. 24, IHG served as official sponsor of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, offering free meal vouchers and hands-on tennis activities to young athletes. On Aug. 30, two lucky fans earned an upgrade to courtside seats and a five-night stay at IHG’s new Maldives resort, where they’ll participate in personalized culinary experiences. On Sept. 7, IHG’s InterContinental Ambassador and Royal Ambassador loyalty members were treated to an exclusive tennis clinic hosted by Roddick, including drills, doubles points and a meet-and-greet session. And on Sept. 8, the final day of the tournament, the brand hosted a live viewing event of the men’s finals on a 30-foot outdoor screen at the Kimpton.
Throughout the tournament, IHG also offered special perks to loyalty members, including post-match press conference access, breakfast in the players’ dining area, meet-and-greet passes and a chance to bid on tickets to “Legends, Unmatched,” an introductory US Open celebration featuring an appearance by Roddick and a performance by Grammy award-winning artist Leon Bridges.
At the heart of IHG’s US Open sponsorship was an on-site activation available from Aug. 26-Sept. 8. The spa-inspired experience took a cue from the industry’s wellness trend, giving attendees the opportunity to indulge in temple massages and a sampling of infused waters. There was also a “digital daydream” experience offering an encounter with some of the brand’s luxury properties around the world. Participants selected an IHG destination, then watched a video about the property as a massage therapist provided a cooling towel infused with scents inspired by that particular hotel.
Need a breather, #USOpen tournament goers? We’ve got your back (and feet, go on, put them up). Head over to The @IHG Experience in the South Plaza where we’re serving up some serious rejuvenation. Not in New York with us? Check out our Instagram Story for your own digital escape. pic.twitter.com/Cm4eHFRKA1
— IHG Hotels & Resorts (@IHG) August 27, 2019
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