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American Express Serves Tennis Court Pop-Up

A week before the U.S. Open begins, tennis fans can try their own backhand on Amex's court.Amex/U.S. Open

American Express is inviting tennis fans to channel their inner Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic at six pop-up courts along the Hudson River in Manhattan in advance of this month’s kickoff of the U.S. Open tournament in Flushing, Queens.

The promotion is part of a mix of on-site and off-site experiences for the two-week program of tennis matches Amex is hosting as the U.S. Open returns to full audience capacity. Ticket sales were canceled last year due to the pandemic.

As the U.S. experiences Covid-19 surges in parts of the country, the United States Tennis Association, the event’s organizer, has decided to bar spectators at the qualifying matches. For Amex, a prime U.S. Open sponsor since 1994, managing in-person marketing has been an ongoing challenge.

“While our goal has always been to deliver experiences that provide enhanced value for our cardmembers, the past year has taught us that it’s essential to be flexible given the unpredictable environment we’re all living within,” said Lindsay Ulrey, VP of global sports experiences and partnerships at American Express.

Elements of the brand’s flexible experiential strategy can be found in the American Express Courts on Manhattan’s Pier 76, which will allow ticket holders to book time on the courts.

Meanwhile, Amex has a lot going on at the main event itself, which runs from Aug. 30 through Sept. 12. In addition to the promise of a “contactless experience” at the American Express Shop at the U.S. Open, Platinum cardholders will be able to book a “60-minute dining experience” at Amex’s signature Centurion Lounge located at Louis Armstrong Stadium through Resy.

That culinary alliance includes dishes by star chefs Ignacio Mattos and Cédric Vongerichten, along with special event libations created by Jim Meehan, who is widely respected in the world of craft cocktails. It’s also a not-so-subtle promotion of Amex’s other Centurion Lounges at John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airport.

Amex has six pop-up courts along the Hudson River available to rent by cardmembers from Aug. 23 through Aug. 31, the day after the U.S. Open begins in Flushing, Queens.

By David Kaplan

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