Amex Wows Tennis Fans with Water Wall Projections
American Express has been a sponsor of the U.S. Open for more than 20 years, and with a reputation for incorporating cutting edge technology into every activation, the brand had a lot to live up to at this year’s tournament—and it delivered. In an effort to push the boundaries of technology and bring its cardmembers closer to the game than ever before, Amex served up the first-ever hydro-interactive tennis experience at Pier 97 on the Hudson River in New York City.
The foundation of the spectacle was a visual experience projected onto a massive 40-foot-tall by 60-foot-wide wall of water pumped in from the Hudson. Hydro-interactive effects brought the wall to life as tennis pros Maria Sharapova, John Isner and Mónica Puig, and comedian Kevin James, showed off their skills on a tennis court erected for the activation. The celebrities used interactive tennis racquets that translated their every smash, swing and lob onto the wall of water in the form of 3D graphics, animations and video projections—all in real time—thanks to custom tracking software.
A few lucky cardmembers in the audience were also chosen to participate in the action. Using tennis balls distributed to audience members at the beginning of the event, the participants stepped onto the tennis court to throw their tennis balls at the giant water wall to collectively combat a large projected meteor.
Other highlights of the interactive experience included laser light mapping across the tennis court and interactive sound design that responded to the players’ movements.
The event was an all around smash hit for Amex. The experience garnered 980,000 Facebook views via Maria Sharapova’s Facebook page, 4.1 million social engagements and a whopping 456 million p.r. impressions—a figure four times higher than what the brand had projected. Love.