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American Express volleys mobile engagement at US Open with real-time content

American Express is scoring brand engagement at the U.S. Open by sponsoring a section of the tennis tournament?s application to feature top stories across social media and hosting daily debates on Twitter with fans and experts.

American Express is aiming to put sports enthusiasts at the forefront of the annual competition by leveraging mobile to reach both attendees and consumers who are unable to be there in person. The brand is placing its TrendCast feature within the official U.S. Open app to broadcast top stories and keep fans involved with the latest action, and will be promoting major topics for debate via the #AmexTennis hashtag.

?This is the first year that cell phones will be allowed at the U.S. Open; with that being the case, attendees of the event will have an opportunity to engage in active digital dialogue with other fans as well as play a game with the pro herself via 'You vs. Sharapova,?? said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta. ?This is a brilliant marketing move for American Express to capitalize on, as not only will they be able to engage consumers in real-time during the event, but they will be given ample opportunity to present offers, deals, content, specials and more.

?The key will be engaging and retaining the new consumers with enticing content in order to engage with them for a long time into the future.?

Keeping the buzz
American Express is tapping mobile to make its sponsorship presence even more widely seen by attendees and non-attendees alike. The brand understands that social media buzz and conversation can sometimes be as dramatic as the plays on court, prompting it to enhance the digital experience with outlets for fan discussion.

The company is integrating its TrendCast feature within the U.S. Open?s app, which tracks the tournament?s top stories across social media and aggregates them in a format that makes it easy for users to explore.

Trending topics, videos and images will all be accumulated. Fans will have the chance to jump into the conversations as well.

Tennis enthusiasts can upload social posts using the #AmexTennis hashtag, and may find their tidbits and observations featured within the app or on the U.S. Open site, where TrendCast will also be implemented.

Additionally, American Express is swirling up major topics for consumers to debate with professionals and experts on Twitter. Consumers can take the time to respond to questions such as what makes the tournament unique, and upload their responses with the #AmexTennis hashtag.

A branded experience
Providing guests with branded content within the U.S. Open app is a smart way of broadcasting awareness without appearing too pushy. Consumers appreciate receiving relevant material, which American Express is aiming to offer with its slew of features.

The company will also be broadcasting American Express Radio Live at the Open, which attendees may listen to within the app.

Ultimately, brands who seek to sponsor major events such as the U.S. Open would be well-suited to introduce a strong mobile element in addition to an on-site presence. The strategy works best if the mobile content offers real utility to event-goers.

?With this being the first time U.S. Open fans will be able to engage via mobile while they are at the event, the response to TrendCast and #AmexTennis generating amazing results is extremely likely,? Ms. Troutman said. ?Staying connected to the U.S. Open fan buzz via #USOpen is sure to be a feed to watch.

?I'm sure the excitement of those watching off-site and the interaction of their friends/family that are on site is sure to be entertaining.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York