USOpen.org to offer more than ever
FLUSHING, N.Y. — The USTA and IBM announced today that USOpen.org, the official website of the 2011 US Open, will engage more fans for free on more platforms in more ways than any sporting event in history. The official site will be optimized for multiple platforms, including computers, tablets and mobile phones, and each platform will contain device-specific features.
In addition to an enhanced mobile-friendly site, the US Open will, for the first time, offer an Android App, and for the third year, an iPhone App also will be available. In addition, for the second consecutive year, USOpen.org will be optimized for use on iPads.
“We want to enhance the US Open fans’ experience whether they’re attending the event, sitting in the office or on vacation at the beach. We tailor the digital experience so they can get what they want when they want it and how they want it,” said Phil Green, senior director, Advanced Media, USTA. “Our fans are interacting with the tournament in multiple ways. Whether it’s watching live video, using our mobile options or engaging through social media, the US Open is easier than ever to enjoy.”
USOpen.org generated more than 40 million visits during last year’s US Open with mobile traffic more than doubling and live streaming activations increasing by nearly 50 percent. IBM, the USTA’s exclusive information technology solution provider, developed and hosts the site.
”Each year we challenge ourselves to create new and engaging ways to reach fans whether they are sitting courtside, watching on television or following scores on USOpen.org,” said Rick Singer, VP Client Marketing, IBM. “This year we’re able to offer an enhanced version of PointStream, which provides rich analysis for each match and player unlike anything we’ve had in place before. We’re excited to also offer live video coverage from additional courts to provide fans with even more live content.”
2011 US Open.org highlights include:
US Open Live: Once again, USOpen.org will offer live streaming from all television courts from the first ball to last on computer and tablet devices in the U.S. With the addition of Court 17, US Open Live will now offer a sixth feed as well. Picture-in-picture, DVR functionality, social media and stats integration will all be featured again this year, and will be enhanced with the inclusion of IBM’s Keys to the Match. Additionally, during Labor Day and Finals Weekends, live streaming will be available on iPhone and Android devices for the first time.
iPhone/Android Apps: The official US Open iPhone Application will be joined by an Android App this year. In addition to live streaming on the weekends, both will offer exclusive live point-by-point scoring, stats, draws, USOpen.org Radio with special features from American Express, including the Courtside Q&A (the ability for fans to submit questions to the booth via email or Twitter), video highlights, Visiting the Open information, and an interactive grounds map. The iPhone App also will include push alerts, Google Earth integration into the venue map and IBM’s Augmented Reality, which allows fans attending the US Open to see through walls for information from around the grounds including match updates, food options, first aid stations and the nearest restroom.
Other Mobile Features: For the first time ever, fans on site will have the opportunity to purchase select US Open merchandise from their web-enabled mobile phone and pick up those purchases at their convenience or have them delivered to their suite. Additionally, US Open mobile content will include a more robust mobile-friendly site (m.usopen.org) with USOpen.org Radio, live scores and stats, match video highlights and more. Users also can sign up for more than 250 different types of free SMS alerts, including individual updates for any player in the main draw, breaking news, weather information, TV schedules, and updates on the latest events at SmashZone and around the grounds. Fans attending the US Open can easily engage with these mobile features by connecting to the US Open’s free fan WiFi.
US Open PointStream: Now in its second year, US Open PointStream, developed by IBM, has a completely new and improved look and feel. The real-time stats and analytics visualization platform uses IBM’s predictive analytics technology to analyze each main draw singles match from the six show courts, specifically focusing on three “Keys to the Match.” Consumers will be able to see a player’s keys to winning a match, based on playing patterns, styles and statistics for each player as well as their progress against these keys throughout the match. Additionally, the Keys to the Match will be incorporated into US Open Live. This information will also be utilized by both ESPN and CBS commentators.
Social Media Integration: In addition to providing interactive viral tournament updates to fans via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the US Open will be the most globally comprehensive event activation on foursquare ever. Fans attending the event who check in to any official US Open venue will unlock the inaugural US Open badge. Additionally, tennis enthusiasts from around the globe who follow the US Open on foursquare can earn a US Open badge by checking in at any tennis court in the world - using foursquare’s new “tennis courts” category. One lucky fan from the continental United States who checks in will win a trip to attend this year’s men’s final. Fans who check into the US Open on either Facebook or foursquare can receive exclusive offers from the USTA and select US Open sponsors, including American Express. Throughout the tournament fans on Facebook will be able to help determine the video content that appears on usopen.org. Users also will be able to submit questions to USOpen.org Radio presented by American Express via Twitter, and the official US Open iPhone App will aggregate tweets from the US Open and the tournament’s top-seeded players.
Extensive On-Demand Video Programming: In addition to being the only destination on the web for match highlights from all sessions of the tournament, USOpen.org will offer clips from every press conference, expert analysis from Todd Martin and Mal Washington in “Drive to the Championship presented by Mercedes-Benz,” Junior Reports, Classic Matches, and, new this year, “@ the Open presented by Xerox”-a daily feature highlighting off-the-court events from around the grounds which will include the ability for fans to go to the US Open’s official Facebook page to help determine each day’s featured story.
Stars at the Open presented by Heineken: The always popular Celebrities at the Open feature of photo galleries and articles will be expanded this year to include a daily video show with celebrity interviews presented by Heineken.
3-D Streaming presented by Panasonic: For the second consecutive year, USOpen.org will offer live 3-D streaming of the men’s and women’s finals presented by Panasonic, with a more integrated video player debuting in 2011 allowing fans to see the ball fly off their computer screen.
USOpen.org Radio presented by American Express: For the first time, USOpen.org offered live radio coverage of the official draw ceremony including interviews and analysis. USOpen.org Radio presented by American Express also will provide live coverage daily featuring the Courtside Q&A, which allows fans to ask questions to the booth via email or Twitter.
US Open Bracket Challenge presented by Xerox: Back for a third year, the US Open Bracket Challenge presented by Xerox allows fans to predict the winner of every match of the men’s and/or women’s main draws while competing with friends and people from across the country for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 US Open. This year fans also have the ability to sign up through Facebook and share their results and picks with their friends.
Rock the Set: In conjunction with the inaugural US Open private concert, the US Open has launched RocktheSet.org, the companion microsite that includes extensive coverage from the Green Carpet and behind-the-scenes coverage from the Green Room as well as comprehensive social media coverage.
US Open CourtConnect: A new feature developed by IBM that will launch during the first week of the tournament, US Open CourtConnect will aggregate all of the US Open’s social media feeds into one location on USOpen.org and integrate key match stats, analytics and photos into the social conversation.
ICON Awards: The ICON Awards coverage is housed within a special subsection of USOpen.org and includes a recap video from last year’s Breaking the Barriers event and key information about this year’s event. Event coverage will include interviews, video features, and social media updates.
In addition to all of these new dynamic features, USOpen.org will still be home to its traditional robust elements, including exclusive live point-by-point scoring, photo galleries, match reports, visiting the open, the USOpen.org Seat Viewer, US Open Shop and US Open Auctions.
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