Not only is the US Open one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, drawing over 700,000 fans, it is also an event of new comers, breakthroughs, and unexpected upsets and wins. Likewise, for marketers, the US Open represents an ideal testing ground for new technologies and new ways to engage with fans and consumers.
From the sponsors' perspective, an international renowned event like the US Open is the opportune time to inspire, to innovate, and to push the limits. The most well-known brands in the world will collectively invest over $740 Million in marketing for the 2015 US Open. These companies are not merely distributing logo water bottles. The most successful sponsors will attempt to exceed expectations by not only engaging their consumers, but by entertaining them.
Real-life Instagrams, RFID technology, geo-targeted promoted tweets, online games, loyalty programs, video hotshot, and social roaming are just some of the digital marketing tactics seen in the 2014 US Open. Not only do we get a glimpse into the future of digital marketing at the US Open, but we get to participate in ways that did not exist just a few years ago. We can meet players from our homes through video conference, practice our tennis swing with a friendly robot, engage in real-time conversations with tennis lovers all over the world, and win prizes by scanning RFID bracelets.
The US Open is a terrific event for marketers to display some of the latest possibilities in digital marketing. For many of us in marketing analytics, the US Open represents a prime opportunity to see the future of marketing tactics, new data streams, and marketers’ changing needs.
Capturing the Direct and Indirect Influence of Sponsorship Marketing
Each sponsor at the US Open will have a unique set of objectives and will gauge their success on a variety of factors. It has been our experience, particularly when exploring the full impact of new digital marketing tactics, that evaluating both the direct and indirect impacts to sales is critical for holistic marketing measurement. Direct impacts drive immediate sales to sponsors, but that is not the whole story. Many sponsorship efforts have long-term indirect impacts on such things as lead generation, increased brand loyalty and recognition, raising awareness and word-of-mouth, media exposure, distribution of samples, and physical presence (vs. only social).
For tennis and marketing fans, the US Open will be full of excitement and anticipation. For brands, the US Open offers an opportunity to engage emotionally with their consumers through unique and innovative marketing strategies. I can’t wait to see who will take home this year’s title and the marketer in me is even more excited to see what digital marketing ‘underdogs’ come out as champions!