Olympus Serves Up Grand Slam Experiences at U.S. Open
Reaching tennis fans is the name of the game at Olympus, a goal that it achieved February 2008 with a six-year sponsorship of the U.S. Open and U.S. Open Series, a multi-tournament competition comprised of 10 events that each summer attracts elite players and tennis aficionados between Grand Slam events. Olympus’ partnership with the series is a grand slam in and of itself: The Olympus U.S. Open Series (OUSOS) is the largest sponsorship in tennis history and Olympus’ most ambitious and far-reaching experiential campaign to date.
With venue branding, promotional activities, athlete endorsements, hospitality elements, press events, online efforts and viral amplification, Olympus’ on-site activation had more reach than Andy Roddick’s overhead smash. A central activation area served as a platform for product demos, contest and prize management and one-on-one interactions. Custom-designed, interactive Proof Kiosks demonstrated the water-, shock- and freeze-proof features of Olympus SW cameras. Photo carts offered demos and loaner product trials. Attendees took commemorative photos and retrieved prints at an on-site pop-up or online; they cooled themselves with Olympus Biggest Fan giveaways; entered instant-win contests for an opportunity to shoot live tennis action at court level in the Olympus Photo Pit; and submitted photos for display online and on the Jumbotron. A charitable overlay to the sponsorship provided strong promotional support for colorectal cancer awareness.
In addition to the on-site activity, a mobile outreach vehicle, The Greatest Road Trip in Sports, brought the excitement off-court to state fairs, community festivals and retailers such as Best Buy and Lowe’s.
“Our activation elements really touched consumers with engaging, interactive and relevant experiences,” says Mark Huggins, Executive Director, Brand Marketing at Olympus. “Whether it’s a photo experience or a product experience, we really feel that seeing is believing, whether that is getting the cameras in consumers’ hands through the photo contest, getting product in journalists’ hands and electronic retailer buyers’ hands, whether it is a ‘pose with the pros’ photo op, a scenic backdrop, or a great visual leave behind. This is a very photographic product type of experience at multiple touch points.”
The proof: OUSOS attendance exceeded 1.6 million, with an additional 105 million TV viewers and 43 million web visitors. The road trip added 3.2 million event impressions and more than 51,000 consumer interactions. Total sales impact for the OUSOS sponsorship was estimated at more than $25 million, not counting 2009 and beyond.