US Open and their Luxury Brand Sponsors

Sponsorship is everywhere in the sports industry. It’s next to impossible to attend a sporting event and not notice at least one sponsorship activation during the event. Sponsorships can range on a spectrum in which organization’s and their brand is heavily integrated within the sport or, on the flip side, there is no correlation between the brand and the sport.

Some organizations in which their brand isn’t solely dedicated to the sports industry but are sponsors to many events are luxury brands such as Mercedes Benz, Rolex and Ralph Lauren. These three companies will have a high sponsorship influence during the U.S. Open as they are teaming up with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to reach new audiences.

Mercedes Benz has developed a sponsorship with the USTA in which the U.S. Open will include an on-site luxury suite that will showcase the Mercedes brand and their recent partnership with Women’s U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Other brands that will play a large role in the sponsorship of the U.S. Open will be luxury brands such as Rolex and Ralph Lauren.

Time has to be kept somehow; which is why Rolex has secured the deal to be the Official Timekeeper. Found at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the signature Rolex-branded clock will be on display alongside other timekeeping devices throughout the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

During the matches make sure to look for that iconic logo on the top left corner of the ballpersons, line judges and chair umpires’ shirts as Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter for the U.S. Open. Those who wish to purchase merchandise will also have the chance to do so as a retail store will be at the tournament site.

 

Sponsoring such large sporting events is a great opportunity for organizations to get their brands noticed on a global scale. It’s been seen in the past with luxury brands sponsoring major events such as the FIFA Men’s World Cup and the Tour de France. Sponsoring such large-scale global sporting events becomes a great opportunity to reach the brand’s audience members on a much larger scale.

Conversely, associating luxury brands with specific sporting events can become controversial as well.

Deanne Pownall, managing director of partnership marketing at USTA notes that, “the U.S. Open is a premier, global sporting, lifestyle and entertainment event. The partners that we work with share the same brand pillars and have a desire to connect with the U.S. Open fan base”.

“Sponsorship drives revenue, it’s not just marketing. And our CMO would tell you that.”

– Frank Nakano
Head of Sports and Entertainment at J.P. Morgan Chase.

The unfortunate reality is that despite there being millions of tennis fans, not everyone can afford to purchase a Mercedes Benz, Rolex watch, or clothe themselves in Ralph Lauren. When expressing that the sponsored brands share the same brand pillars and desire to connect with the U.S. Open fan base, these luxury brands make it appear that tennis is a luxury sport in which only those who live a luxurious lifestyle can partake in.

 

 

 

Sport is something that can unite all people from different walks in life, it inspires many and is universal.

Now we ask the question, should the US Open target their sponsorships towards the “luxurious” attendees of the US Open, or more towards the tennis fans who watches the games on television? 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Connor Allen

B&M Agency Intern
PR Officer & Content Contributer