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Panasonic Joins USTA As Marketing Partner, Adding 3D To 2010 U.S. Open Coverage

August 25, 2010: The U.S. Tennis Assn. said that consumer electronics company Panasonic has become an official sponsor of the U.S. Open, bringing with it the technology of 3D.

Financial terms of the three-year deal were not disclosed. The alliance includes marketing support during U.S. Open broadcasts and on -site, presence at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day and activation with DirecTV to broadcast matches in 3D.

The 2010 U.S. Open will be played Aug. 30-Sept. 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, NY. Panasonic US Open. The USTA recently signed another new partner, Esurance, which also will activate to support the U.S. Open. Other partners include Chase, IBM, Citizen, Mercedes-Benz, Olympus, American Express, Continental Airlines, Heineken, Evian and Canon.

Panasonic said it would work with CBS Sports and the USTA to present the first  3D broadcasts of the tournament.  CBS Sports is scheduling 3D broadcasts of matches from Arthur Ashe Stadium during Labor Day weekend (Spet. 4-5-6) and during the weekend of the U.S. Open finals, Sept. 10-12.

In order to view the U.S. Open in 3D, consumers must have 3D TVs and 3D eyewear and be subscribers to DirecTV.The matches will be made available nationwide via DirecTV's exclusive dedicated 3D entertainment channel, "n|3D Powered by Panasonic" (DirecTV channel 103).

Panasonic will support the alliance with ads featuring its 3D technology during CBS Sports broadcasts of the U.S. Open, as well as digital signage in the three stadiums and at most of the outer courts. Panasonic will also be a sponsor of Arthur Ashe Kids' Day on Aug. 28 that serves as the unofficial opening to the tournament.

"We continually explore new innovations for the U.S. Open. 3D technology is the wave of the future, and once again the U.S. Open will be on the cutting edge."

On-site at the Open, Panasonic will have three 3D viewing galleries within the Panasonic Showcase located in the former International Tennis Hall of Fame Gallery on the floor level of Louis Armstrong Stadium, and another in SmashZone, the interactive tennis experience.

Panasonic and DirecTV also will offer the 2010 semifinal and final matches live in 3D to retail outlets nationwide that carry Panasonic 3D TVs, including Best Buy, as part of the Sept. 10-12 "National 3D Demo Days" organized by the Consumer Electronics Association.    

"We are very pleased to enter a new era of sports production with a new partner, Panasonic, and our long-time partner, CBS," Lucy Garvin, USTA chairman and president, said in a statement.  "We continually explore new innovations for the U.S. Open, and new ways to present our tournament to tennis fans.  3D technology is the wave of the future, and once again the U.S. Open will be on the cutting edge."

According to Harold Bryant, vp-production, CBS Sports, "CBS Sports is looking forward to using this groundbreaking technology during our coverage of the U.S. Open tennis championships. With the court-level camera positions that will make viewers feel like they are right on the court, and the resonant sounds of the game and the spectators, tennis will be a spectacular sport to see in 3D."

CBS Sports said the 3D broadcasts will use a separate production team and equipment from the traditional HD broadcasts of the tournament. Plans call for six camera rigs (each holding two high definition cameras), two special 3D production trucks, and a unique 3D-dedicated CBS Sports broadcast team.

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