Bermuda will be the exclusive tourism partner of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, beginning with the 2019 U.S. Open in New York City, under a multi-year agreement between the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced Wednesday.
Bermuda will benefit from a “significant” presence at the famed tennis event under the agreement, which provides Bermuda with on-court signage in Arthur Ashe Stadium, representation on U.S. Open digital properties and social media channels, plus “on-site activation space” for consumer engagement.
The court signage will provide Bermuda with “significant” exposure during 100-plus hours of live coverage in top Bermuda markets including the U.S., Canada and U.K. along with 100 other countries.
Meanwhile, during the two-week tournament the on-site activation space will offer engagement with “more than 800,000 fans, 56 percent of whom are from the New York metro market,” said officials. New York is Bermuda’s top visitor source market, located within a 90-minute flight of the territory.
In partnership with the USTA, USTA Player Development and the USTA Foundation, BTA is also planning a “new, multifaceted event” to take place in the territory in 2020. The event will include a Pro-Am tournament and exhibitions with tennis legends and rising American players, the partners said in a statement.
BTA and USTA officials said they expect the multi-faceted event to “bring additional visitor spending and exposure for Bermuda as a premier luxury and sports destination.”
Bermuda’s links to tennis include the history of Mary Ewing Outerbridge born in America in 1852 to Bermudian parents. Known as the “mother of American tennis,” Outerbridge learned tennis in 1874 from British officers stationed in the territory.
She returned to New York with tennis equipment and later set up the country’s first tennis court, on the grounds of the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club, close to where New York’s Staten Island Ferry Terminal is currently located.
“An exclusive tourism partnership with the U.S. Open works for Bermuda on so many levels and helps set ourselves apart from our competition,” said Kevin Dallas, BTA’s CEO.
“The brand story of Bermuda introducing the sport of tennis to the United States is just one example of how we punch above our weight as a small island out in the middle of the Atlantic,” Dallas added. “The collaboration also puts Bermuda in the cultural conversation at one of the must-see events in New York City.”
“The Bermuda Tourism Authority is introducing the island to a new generation of travelers who match up perfectly with our regional, national and global U.S. Open fan base,” said Gordon Smith, USTA’s CEO. “We look forward to helping increase Bermuda’s exposure as a leading luxury travel destination through this exciting new partnership.”
The 2019 U.S. Open is scheduled for August 26 to September 8 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The tournament hosted a record 828,798 attendees in 2018.
Beginning in 2016, Bermuda tourism stakeholders reversed more than a decade of laggard visitor growth. The territory posted its best visitor totals since 2007 that year, and many linked the visitor resurgence to Bermuda’s hosting of the America’s Cup sailing tournament in 2017.
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