The United States Tennis Association (USTA) on Aug. 12 activated its first-ever US Open Pop-Up Restaurant in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal to highlight its food offerings and promote the two-week tennis tournament, set for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. Located in Vanderbilt Hall, the pop-up offered free lunch on a first-come, first-served basis, sponsor interactions and giveaways.
Starting at 12:30 p.m., consumers could select two lunch items from US Open celebrity chefs Tony Mantuano and Richard Sandoval. Selections included the US Open’s signature lobster roll, Mantuano’s tomato bread from Wine Bar (topped with Serrano ham); Sandoval’s Maya chopped salad and Hill Country Barbecue’s chopped brisket sliders.
In addition to the food, US Open sponsors served up drinks. Lavazza served 12-ounce premium iced coffees and longtime US Open sponsor evian served its bottled waters. Coca-Cola brought its Share A Coke activation to the pop-up, where consumers could create two personalized cans of Coke—one to keep and one to share with friends and family.
Rounding out the experience was a photo activation with the men’s replica US Open trophy created by Tiffany & Co. In addition, consumers had the opportunity to win prizes throughout the afternoon and receive an exclusive Ticketmaster discount code to buy US Open tickets—an initiative that’s helping the USTA track consumer engagement.
This year’s live event built on the success of last year’s US Open Food Truck tour, and supports a larger campaign that includes digital and social media engagement via #FlavoroftheOpen.
“We’re always looking for creative ways to expand our marketing plan and augment it with an experiential activation that brings to life the other elements of the US Open,” says Nicole Kankam, manager, director-marketing at USTA. “The US Open has always been an event that attracts entertainment-seekers but in particular, we wanted to continue to attract a younger audience, people that like to attend New York City happenings, and show that you don’t necessary have to be a hardcore tennis fan to really enjoy and appreciate the US Open.”
WATCH: Inside the US Open Pop-Up Restaurant Experience