SBJ/20090629/This Week's News

Social media key in Open Series site

The U.S. Tennis Association is relaunching its official Web page for the Olympus U.S. Open Series, with the new site featuring an extensive battery of social-networking components.

Developed with the aid of IMG Media, the new will include an enhanced video player; links to U.S. Open Series-branded areas within Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Sling Media; and a dedicated U.S. Open Series-Twitter feed aggregated through Octagon-owned Twackle.

Beyond the video and social-media components, the new site will contain traditional Web site elements such as news, TV schedules and ticketing. The branded circuit of summer events begins its annual run next month, leading up to the start of the U.S. Open in late August.

“We’re continuing to work to establish the Olympus U.S. Open Series brand, and this is all designed to help take that next step toward that,” said Phil Green, USTA director of advanced media. “We know having this destination itself is not going to be enough, so we’ve sought to develop a coordinated, cogent digital strategy to get into all these other major places where people are congregating and talking about the series.”

As part of the digital ramp-up, the USTA has assumed operations and management of several tournament-specific sites for events that are part of the series: the L.A. Tennis Open; the Western and Southern Financial Group Women’s Open and its matching Masters men’s event in Cincinnati; and the Pilot Pen Tennis men’s and women’s events from New Haven, Conn. 

The USTA additionally will operate a “tweet-stakes” in which its series-branded Twitter channel will be used to conduct two separate sweepstakes for U.S. Open tickets.

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