USOpen.org, the official website of the 2012 US Open, will offer fans more comprehensive coverage across more platforms from a single destination than any sporting event ever. The official site will be optimized for multiple platforms, including computers, tablets and mobile phones, with each platform utilizing device-specific features, all of which are free for fans.
In 2011, USOpen.org generated more than 51 million visits during the tournament, with mobile traffic more than doubling and live streaming consumption increasing by 12 percent from the year prior. This year, the USTA and IBM expect a greater appetite for mobile and on-the-go viewing from fans. IBM, the USTA’s exclusive information technology solutions provider, developed and hosts the platforms where fans can enjoy even greater accessibility to the tournament.
“We continually push the technological and content envelopes in designing USOpen.org, to ensure we exceed our fans’ expectations,” said Phil Green, senior director, Advanced Media, USTA. “Just as we have brought our fans unprecedented free live streaming of tournament matches across multiple devices, this year we are providing unprecedented social media integration and behind-the-scenes access like never before.”
“Through our partnership with the USTA, IBM is able to showcase how cloud computing and data analytics technologies bring the excitement and thrill of the US Open to fans no matter where they are or how they are consuming media,” said Rick Singer, Vice President, Client Executive Marketing, IBM. “The US Open is an ideal platform to demonstrate IBM’s capabilities and it is refreshing to collaborate with the USTA as they are always looking to push the technological boundaries and enhance the overall fan experience.”
Major features of USOpen.org across various platforms include:
US Open iPad App: The USTA has created the inaugural US Open iPad app. The app, presented by Esurance, provides an interactive second-screen experience for those fans watching the Open on television or online. Fans will be able to communicate with friends and fellow fans around the world through enhanced social features, access live match video, watch highlights and interviews, as well as view match analysis, live scores and a variety of in-depth statistical information.
Social Media Integration: Fans can engage with one of the most socially-integrated sporting events ever through distinct activations across eight prominent social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter (with separate conversations for each of the six televised courts), foursquare, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube. Through these channels, fans will be able to interact with one another and with the tournament’s official website USOpen.org, easily share their favorite US Open moments and submit questions on USOpen.org Radio presented by American Express. Fans also can get the latest match notes, quotes and photos from behind the scenes and around the grounds with USOpen.org’s new blog on Tumblr, “The Spin.”
US Open Live: Watch US Open matches live on your computer or iPad as they happen on any of the six show courts with US Open Live. During Labor Day weekend (September 1-3) and Finals weekend (September 7-9), enjoy live streaming from your iPhone or Android device as well. Fans can now engage through Match Chat with the same fans on the iPad app. And for the first time, US Open Live will be available throughout the US Open Qualifying tournament.
Official US Open iPhone and Android Apps: The USTA will continue to make its mobile apps for the iPhone and Android devices available. Fans can again enjoy all the action with live scores, stats, player profiles, video highlights, and alerts. New this year, fans using either App will be able to personalize their US Open experience, through My US Open presented by American Express to create a customized mobile experience tailored to fit their individual needs whether at home or at the Open. USOpen.org also will be available in a mobile-friendly format for all web-enabled mobile devices, and fans can sign up for up to 250 different free mobile alerts, including scores, breaking news, and weather updates.
On-Demand Video: In addition to hundreds of hours of live matches, digital users can also enjoy plenty of on-demand video across any device, including match highlights, press conferences and classic matches, as well as analysis - “Drive to the Championship presented by Mercedes-Benz”, celebrity sightings - “Stars at the Open presented by Heineken”, and behind-the-scenes access – “Beyond the Baseline presented by Xerox”.
Fantasy Games: Gamers have a place at the US Open as well. It all starts with the return of the US Open Bracket Challenge presented by Xerox. In 2012, fans can also compete for daily prizes with the new Daily Challenge pick ‘em game. So give it your best shot to win!
Beyond these elements, several traditional staples of the USOpen.org experience remain, including: