2015 US Open Series launches in Atlanta
July 23, 2015
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The 12th season of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the five-week North American summer tennis season that links seven ATP World Tour and WTA summer hard court tournaments to the US Open, launches next week with the men’s BB&T Atlanta Open. Since its inception in 2004, the Emirates Airline US Open Series has increased television viewership and event attendance, while generating new corporate partnerships for the sport.
ESPN2 will air more than 70 hours of live, national coverage of Series events, which includes weekend coverage from Atlanta, Stanford, Winston-Salem and New Haven as well as mid-week and weekend coverage from Montreal, Toronto and Cincinnati. In addition, the Series will feature significantly increased match coverage on ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, with more than 500 hours of weekday Series coverage. And, for the first time, the Emirates Airline US Open Series main website – emiratesusopenseries.com – and the tournament websites will offer fans live streaming from their respective events through the integration of an ESPN3 media player.
This year, 34 consecutive days of Emirates Airline US Open Series tennis will air across ESPN’s networks, The Series premieres on television on Saturday, August 1, from the BB&T Atlanta Open with the semifinals at 4:00 ET on ESPN2, followed by the final on Sunday, August 2 at 3:00 ET. Earlier in the week, ESPN3 will begin coverage from Atlanta with four hours on Monday, July 27. See the full summer TV schedule here.
The impressive roster of television talent covering the 2015 Emirates Airline US Open Series season for ESPN includes: Jimmy Arias, Darren Cahill, Cliff Drysdale, Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, Chris Fowler, Brad Gilbert, Sam Gore, Patrick McEnroe, Tom Rinaldi, Pam Shriver, Kevin Skinner and Rennae Stubbs.
The game’s top players and future stars will compete during the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open for more than $60 million in prize money. Through the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge, the USTA will offer up to an additional $2.6 million in bonus prize money at the US Open to the top three men’s and top three women’s singles finishers in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The bonus challenge has resulted in the largest paychecks in tennis history, including a record payout of $4 million last year to Serena Williams. This year, the Series champions will compete for the chance to win a $4.3 million record paycheck at the US Open — $3.3 million for winning the US Open plus an additional $1 million bonus for also capturing the Emirates Airline US Open Series title.
The Emirates Airline US Open Series season will be supported again by the “Follow the Story” national marketing campaign, the EmiratesUSOpenSeries.com website and sponsor activation on both the national and local levels. This is the fourth year Emirates Airline is serving as the title sponsor of the Series, as well as the official airline of the US Open. The Emirates Airline US Open Series is also supported by American Express, Chase, Citizen Watch Company and Esurance.
“With expanded ESPN viewing options for fans to consume our events, along with dedicated partners that provide on-site tournament offerings that are second to none, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to settle in as the place to be each and every summer,” said J. Wayne Richmond, General Manager of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
Emirates Returns program
Emirates Airline continues its partnership with the USTA Foundation, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), to bring tennis to children across North America as part of “Emirates Returns.” The program, a grassroots charitable initiative connected to the Emirates Airline US Open Series, provides underserved youth in the various Series markets access to the sport as well as opens up educational opportunities in their local market.
In each market, Emirates will provide charitable donations in the form of grants for educational programming, new tennis equipment and facility improvements. In the program’s third year, the total contribution across all Series tournaments and the US Open will eclipse $400,000. In addition, Emirates hosts children from each event’s charitable organization for a day of tennis at the tournament, which includes a clinic with an ATP or WTA pro and tickets to the event.
New this year, Emirates will recognize mentors that have made a difference within their respective charitable organization and community by awarding the individual with a VIP weekend at the 2015 US Open, including: airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets, participation in a tennis clinic on Arthur Ashe Stadium, behind-the scenes tour and an opportunity to meet a tennis legend.
The USTA supports programs that use tennis to help reconnect service members with their families and communities. The following Emirates Airline US Open Series events will be holding military appreciation events to honor service members, veterans and their families: BB&T Atlanta Open, Western & Southern Open, Winston-Salem Open and the Connecticut Open.
Tennis Play Days and 10 and Under Tennis Workshops
Many of this year’s Emirates Airline US Open Series events will host Tennis Play Days and 10 and Under Tennis Workshops. Play Days allow kids to experience competition in a fun, low-pressure setting. These events are geared towards getting more kids to participate in tennis by using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child’s size and ability. In 2014, more than 10,000 Play Days/Events were held throughout the country. To find a local Tennis Play Day, visit YouthTennis.com. 10 and Under Tennis Workshops provide tennis teaching professionals and coaches with the skills needed to engage and teach children under the age of ten. The workshops will provide the proper fundamentals and skill development progressions for coaches of young players. The cost is $15 which includes the 10 and Under Workshop and a ticket to watch matches. To register for the workshop, visit CoachYouthTennis.com.
About the Emirates Airline US Open Series
Now in its 12th season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking seven summer tournaments to the US Open. In 2014, Serena Williams won the US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s title for the second consecutive year, earning a record tennis paycheck of $4 million. Rafael Nadal (2013), Roger Federer (2007) and Kim Clijsters (2005) also accomplished the feat of winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open singles title within the same year.