By Melissa Ward Schorsch Posted August 24, 2012, 1:27 PM EDT
The U.S. Open—the year's final Grand Slam tennis tournament—kicks off Monday at the U.S.T.A. National Tennis Center. The games are expected to bring some 650,000 spectators to Flushing Meadows, Queens, where top-tier sponsors like Moët & Chandon, Mercedes-Benz, Evian, and Heineken are staging activations to promote their products.
Moët & Chandon
After marking its first year as the official champagne for the competition with company tennis matches in its west Chelsea office, Moët & Chandon is building a lounge on the grounds of the tennis center in Queens. To give the champagne- and white-colored space the illusion of floating, the design includes flooring lit from beneath. The L.V.M.H.-owned brand is also bring back last year's Cheers for Champions charity initiative, which will auction a bottle of champagne autographed by tennis champs and celebrity visitors to the lounge. The proceeds will benefit U.S.T.A. Serves, a foundation that supports at-risk children and individuals with disabilities through the integration of tennis and education. For consumers, Moët & Chandon will launch an interactive sweepstakes on Facebook in which fans can compete in a virtual tennis match to be entered into a contest to win private tennis lessons from pro Jim Courier.
The U.S. Open and Heineken partnership goes way back: In 2012 the beer brand marks its 21st year as a sponsor of the event. The theme behind this year is to master the serve—on the tennis court and behind the bar. To kick it off, Heineken hosted an August 21 event at the Penthouse at Dream, where guests were shown how to perfect the four-step pour of the Dutch brew. To add a little healthy competition to the event, Heineken draught master Franck Evers went head-to-head against Bob and Mike Bryan, London Olympic gold medalists and brothers. After the August 24 U.S. Open Player Party at the Gansevoort Park Hotel, the brand will be on site with their Red Star café and the Light Lounge, which will sell branded apparel by Los Angeles-based Sol Angeles.
A long-time sponsor, Evian kicked off its festivities this year with the inaugural Evian Wood Racquet Cup on August 18 at the West Side Tennis Club. The event had vintage wooden racquets and a curated doubles team—including 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander—playing to win tickets to the U.S. Open finals. During the games, the water brand will host an “Instawalk” in which the three New Yorkers with the most Instagram followers will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the tournament via the photo-sharing tool.
The car insurance company is hosting an American Idol-style karaoke “Sing-Off” on August 24 at the Dream Downtown's Electric Room. Ten teams of participants will compete as the Bryan brothers, Brett Haber, Murphy Jensen, and ESPN's Michele Steele judge the musical talent. All proceeds will benefit U.S.T.A. Serves. More on-site charity activities will allow spectators to vote on tablets to decide how much of $50,000 in the Game Changer campaign goes to at-risk children and U.S.T.A. Serves. Additionally, at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Esurance will provide a nine-screen, 18-foot-wide booth where attendees can watch match highlights, take and view photos of themselves with the Bryan brothers, and view Game Changer results.
A court-side Mercedes-Benz center will display the auto company's vehicles as well as multimedia elements for car-lovers and tennis-pro wannabes alike. Visitors to the activation can have photos made that show them making different tennis shots. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz drivers get complimentary parking at the U.S. Open.
J.P. Morgan and Chase
Marking its 31st year of sponsorship, J.P. Morgan and Chase are bring back their Chase Lounge where customers can watch the matches and meet Billie Jean King, Jimmy Connors, James Blake, and other tennis stars. The Chase Lounge and match tickets were available to customers in the tristate area who deposited a certain amount of money into a new or existing savings account during June and July.