Défiez Maria Sharapova à l’US Open avec American Express

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31: Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their women's singles fourth round match on Day Seven of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Cette année, à l’U.S. Open de tennis (qui commence dans 2 semaines), vous n’aurez pas besoin d’être professionnel pour affronter Maria Sharapova sur le court. Grâce à une activation en « virtual reality », American Express, sponsor du tournoi, va vous permettre de vous mettre dans la peau d’un joueur de tennis.

Dans le cadre de cette nouvelle fan expérience, accessible aux alentours des courts de l’USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, American Express s’est donc attaché les services d’une nouvelle ambassadrice, Maria Sharapova, qui a passé plus de 9 heures en studio en Californie pour réaliser cette activation. L’activation, intitulée « You vs. Sharapova » est la première expérience en VR (Virtual Reality) à intégrer des intéractions. En effet, les fans recevront une raquette et pourront donc réaliser des coups « virtuels » face à la version animée de Maria Sharapova.

« Par le passé, la réalité virtuelle était une expérience passive, avec le public en situation d’attente » s’est exprimé Deb Curtis, Vice President d’American Express en charge du sponsoring et du marketing expérientiel. « Aujourd’hui, nous permettons aux fans de rentrer dans un nouveau monde. (…) C’est en quelque sorte une évolution de nos activations passées. Nous mettons clairement le fan au coeur de l’expérience. »

Pour Maria Sharapova, ce partenariat avec American Express est le premier avec une entreprise de banques. Ce contrat de sponsoring, d’une durée de 2 ans, va venir garnir les coffres déjà bien remplis de Maria Sharapova dont les revenus sont estimés à 25 millions de dollars par an (prize money & sponsoring confondus) notamment grâce à ses deals avec Nike, Head, Porsche, Tag Heuer et Evian. A partir de lundi prochain, Maria Sharapova sera partout dans New-York puisque la tenniswoman apparait sur le print d’American Express, affiché sur des lieux des transports et à forte affluence comme Grand Central Station, la grande gare de New-York.

Maria Sharapova_AmericanExpress_USOpen

Gratuit pour toute personne détentrice d’un billet pour l’US Open, l’activation « You vs. Sharapova », qui dure 4 minutes et qui utilise la technologie VR de la marque HTC, HTC Vive, est le point d’orgue de l’activation d’American Express sur le tournoi. American Express est la 2ème marque en terme de dépenses autour de l’US Open (7.7 millions de dollars d’investissements média, derrière Mercedes Benz et ses 8.2 millions) mais cet US Open 2015 sera riche en activations de la part d’American Express. La marque organisera des « débats » quotidiens sur Twitter pour débriefer de l’actualité du tournoi, autour du hashtag #AmexTennis. Voici la liste des activations additionelles de la marque à l’US Open

  • Epic Matchup: Les fans et leurs amis auront la possibilité d’être les stars de leur propre film, dans cette simulation vidéo des plus grands échanges qui ont eu lieu sur les courts du Arthur Ashe Stadium.  
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame Exhibit: The Original 9 and World Team Tennis, une exposition, par la légende Billie Jean King sur les grands moments du tennis comme la création du WTA Tour.
  • American Express Fan Court: Un tournoi de tennis à taille réeele qui va permettre à tous les fans, de tout âge, d’améliorer leur tennis grâce à des outils et la technologie adéquate :
    • Athlete Meet and Greets: Durant l’US Open, des joueurs professionnels participeront à des sessions de questions/réponses, offrant leur regard privilégié sur ce sport.
    • Fan Court Photo Op: Les fans auront l’opportunité de poser à coté d’une star du circuit.
    • USTA Tennis Programming: L’un des « hits » d’American Express à l’US Open, qui offre au public la chance de participer aux activités de USTA (la fédération américaine de tennis) qui comprennent des sessions d’initiation aux moins de 10 ans ou encore des skills challenges pour les adultes.
  • Les trophées de l’US Open masculin et féminin seront exposés dans la zone Fan Experience pour permettre aux fans de découvrir les coupes soulevées par les vainqueurs du tournoi.
  • American Express® Card Member Club: Les « Card members » auront accès à un espace dédié où ils pourront se reposer et recharger leurs batteries, celles de leur corps et de leurs smartphones.
  • American Express Radio Live at the Open: La radio du tournoi, en collaboration avec ESPN, offrira des commentaires de chaque match et sera disponible aux American Express Card Members tout au long de l’US Open.

Avec la signature de Maria Sharapova, American Express passe la vitesse supérieure, maintenant reste à savoir si ce partenariat et ces activations permettront à la marque de recruter des jeunes et de balancer sa base de clients vieillissante…

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