Planned New Fan Enhancements and Programming for 2008 US Open
New Features Include Special 40th Anniversary Celebration, US Open Green Initiatives, YouTube Digital Channel, Enhanced Fan Ticket Exchange Program and More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Widmaier (Pro Tennis)
08/15/08 - The USTA today announced a series of expanded fan enhancements and new programming for the 2008 US Open. New enhancements include a special Opening Night 40th Anniversary celebration featuring US Open past champions, a series of “green” initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of the US Open, expanded US Open merchandise shops in New York City, a digital channel, and a new US Open ticket exchange system.
Returning innovations include anthem performances by children 12-and-under; live US Open telecasts at Madison Square Park presented by American Express and Rockefeller Center; instant replay with player challenges; the US Open Champions Invitational, and the US Open Court of Champions attraction. Due to significant fan demand, American Express will bring back handheld video devices that allow fans to watch multiple matches and live television broadcasts while on-site and Grey Goose will expand last year’s “Honey Deuce” souvenir glass promotion.
Special Opening Night Ceremony: A ceremony paying tribute to the 40th Anniversary of tennis’ Open Era will feature a parade of more than two dozen former US Open singles champions and will highlight all 40 US Open singles champions in the 40 years since 1968. The ceremony will be hosted by the Oscar-winning actor/director Forest Whitaker and will feature musical performances by the Tony Award winning Jersey Boys, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Earth, Wind & Fire.
40th Anniversary of Open Era: The 2008 US Open will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Open Era beginning with an on-court ceremony on Opening Night. Additional 40th Anniversary activities throughout the US Open will include nightly video tributes, a special section on USOpen.org, a commemorative book, vintage clothing line and features in the official US Open program and Daily Drawsheet.
Green Initiatives: The USTA has announced an increased commitment to high-impact, long-term environmental initiatives at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. Key programs include a plastic and aluminum guest waste recycling initiative, wind energy Renewable Energy Certificates to offset the US Open’s electricity consumption, an organic clothing line featuring t-shirt designs by Heidi Klum and Billie Jean King and a fan awareness campaign which includes player PSAs that will premier on Opening Day.
YouTube US Open Channel: YouTube, the video-based internet website, has created the USOpen Channel (www.youtube.com/usopen). Content will include daily updates from the US Open, including post-match player interviews, an “Explore the Open” feature, an “Off Court Spotlight” feature, and an “Inside the Media Center” feature. During week two, the website will also feature a daily Junior Report on the Junior US Open.
Live @ the Open Presented by American Express: USOpen.org will stream hourly shows during each day session highlighting the latest news and information from the tournament grounds. In addition, each program will offer a look back at memorable moments in US Open history, and fans will be able to submit questions to the show’s hosts and guests. The shows will also be available on-demand.
New US Open Ticket Exchange: Ticketmaster was selected as the exclusive enterprise-wide ticketing resale partner for the US Open. Under the new partnership, TicketsNow, a Ticketmaster company, will operate the only sanctioned, official US Open ticket exchange, where US Open fans can purchase tickets posted for sale by US Open subscribers and other ticket holders in a secure, convenient marketplace. Fans will be able to find tickets being offered for resale by logging on to USOpen.org and selecting the US Open Ticket Exchange option. In addition, fans can access available tickets via Ticketmaster.com and TicketsNow.com.
Live Outdoor Telecasts in New York City: American Express will present live US Open tournament coverage from CBS and USA Network at Madison Square Park free to the public, August 29-September 7. Rockefeller Center will also host viewing events, August 29-September 7. Both locations, open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., will be transformed into interactive tennis experiences complete with giant viewing screens.
US Open SoHo Store: A first-ever “pop-up” store, selling US Open branded apparel officially licensed by the USTA will open in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Merchandise available will include the new US Open DVD game and the vintage clothing line created to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Open Era. The US Open SoHo store will be open Friday, August 22 through Tuesday, September 9 and is located at 129 Prince Street in New York City.
Multi-Purpose Indoor Facility: The new 245,000 square foot Indoor Tennis Facility is slated to open in late fall of 2008 and will feature 12 tennis courts, a fitness center, a full-service pro shop, a US Open superstore, a fan-friendly SmashZone (full of interactive games and events) and space for the American Tennis Hall of Fame. The new building will increase year-round access for tennis players to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the world’s largest public tennis facility.
JUVÉDERM® Decades of Smooth Lounge: At the Decades of Smooth lounge located in the South Plaza, fans will have the opportunity for free massages, ticket upgrades and meet-and-greets with tennis champions Lindsay Davenport and Tracy Austin. Additionally, at various times throughout the tournament, top NYC physicians will provide lounge visitors complimentary facial consultations, and, if qualified, a certificate for a complimentary JUVÉDERM® treatment following the tournament.
Kids Nightly Anthems: An instant tradition at last year’s US Open, children who auditioned at the US Open casting call held at Radio City Music Hall in early June will perform on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Out of the 189 children who tried out, 20 were selected to perform on center court from the New York metro area in addition to Florida, Washington, D.C., and Alabama. A special feature this year, two family acts will take the stage together -- five brothers ages 7 to 12 from Rockville Centre, New York and two sisters ages 6 and 10 from Brooklyn, New York.
“Instant Replay” with 3 Challenges: Instant replay technology with player challenges will return to Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium with players now having three challenges per set plus and additional challenge added during tiebreakers. The review system again will be sponsored by JPMorgan Chase and will be known as the “Chase Review.”
New Champions Invitational Format: As part of the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Open Era, the 2008 US Open Champions Invitational format has been modified to include two special singles matches between former champions to be named. These matches will be staged during the second week on Thursday night and/or Saturday night.