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SBJ/August 16 - 22, 2004/This Weeks Issue
USTA aims U.S. Open ads at the suburbs
Published August 16, 2004
The U.S. Tennis Association is squeezing most of its U.S. Open advertising campaign into the last few weeks of August to remind harried New York-area residents that even if they are avoiding the tumult created by the Republican National Convention, they can still attend the Open.
The USTA will open up a can of this for the coming U.S. Open. The marketing effort started later than usual this year.
The convention, which lasts four days, begins Aug. 30, as does the two-week Open. The USTA owns and operates the Open, which is in Queens, while the convention is in Manhattan.
“We have a tremendous amount of tickets we sell the week before and the [first] week of the Open, and we don’t want to be in a position of realizing in the middle of that that [the convention] is an issue,” said Michelle Wilson, the USTA’s senior director of marketing.
“People are somewhat changing their behavior the week during the [convention]. Our goal is to communicate to people [that] if you are going to be working from home or avoiding Manhattan, you can go out to the U.S. Open.”
To reach those commuters, the USTA for the first time has advertised in publications ranging from Long Island Newsday to the Greenwich Times.
The added suburban advertising has not meant a reduction in city promotions, Wilson said. Because the USTA has bartered more ad space for tickets and hospitality than last year, the group has been able to increase the value of the ad campaign 32 percent.
The USTA’s ad campaigns are largely funded through barter deals, with a small amount paid in cash.
In the city, ads on subways and wrapped around buses and in city publications such as The New York Times and New York Post will be a constant.
TV advertisements have begun airing and can been seen on CBS and USA Network, the Open broadcasters.
Arnold Worldwide created the ads. Some yet-to-be-finished ads will in some fashion incorporate the theme of the Republican convention, Wilson said.