BLOG | by Lance Fraenkel

How are US Open sponsors getting value from their deals?

We wrote last year about the unusually long-term sponsorships which the US Open Tennis Championship enjoys.

The tournament has three Official Partners, with four brands benefiting – American Express, Emirates, Chase and JP Morgan.

This year, we thought we would take a look at which of these brands was making the most of its tennis partnerships.

We’ve taken data from our BrandIndex service which, every day, monitors perceptions of thousands of brands across the world, to compare how tennis fans and the general public view these brands.

For the purposes of this exercise, we took one of the 16 metrics which companies value the most – Impression. It simply asks respondents whether they have a positive or negative Impression of a brand and calculates a net score.

Take a look at the recent results for each brand in the charts below.

As you can see in the first, both Emirates and American Express enjoy significant uplifts among tennis for fans for Impression of their brands over the period we select. In addition, it looks like American Express has really worked on its activation ahead of the US Open, seeing an increase of more than seven points since the end of July.

Its initiatives have included offering exclusive pre-sale tickets; providing hospitality packages for its small business customers to entertain clients; and providing attendees with Amex earpieces, access to its exclusive lounges and Ralph Lauren customized merchandise.

In the next chart, you can see how JP Morgan and Chase are performing among tennis fans.

Once again, both brands enjoy a significant uplift among tennis fans but it is the Chase performance, which really catches the eye. Level-pegging with the general population at the beginning of May, Impression for the brand has really taken off among tennis fans since then. What has Chase been doing right?

Well, it has run a series of its Chase Sound Check concerts at Flushing Meadows, with artists including LANY and Leon Bridges. It operates its Chase Lounge for customers attending the event and also sponsors US favorite, Serena Williams, who fronts their #ThisMama campaign. It’s clearly been an effective mix for a brand that has now been involved in the Open for 38 years.

Each company will have its own strategy in place to maximize their Open deals, but what’s uniform here is that all of the tournament’s top-level partners are seeing a decent return. That’s why they keep on coming back.

The US Open American Express Fan Experience will return to the US Open, immersing fans in a world where New York City meets tennis. Photo shows an interactive game of Pong that lets fans become a player on a game board designed to reflect each of New York City’s famous boroughs.

Photo ©American Express

BLOG | by Lance Fraenkel

Vice President, US
Head of Data Products

Lance joined YouGov Sport (SMG Insight) in 2017 as Vice President for North America. Having previously worked for YouGov, Lance has over ten years’ experience in the market research products industry, beginning as an analyst within the consumer division and advancing to the role of Head of Client Management for North America. Lance has successfully developed talent and led large cross-functional teams, consulting with a broad range of clients including Google, NBC, VISA, Bank of America, Omnicom Media Group and Twitter. Lance is a graduate of New York’s Cornell University.