US Open Digital Engagement to Feature Virtual Grounds Experience
August 27, 2021
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 27, 2021 – The USTA today announced that the 2021 US Open will feature an immersive Virtual Grounds experience via USOpen.org and the US Open app as part of a wide-ranging and innovative fan-engagement suite designed to allow fans everywhere to experience and interact with the US Open like never before across digital, social and broadcast media.
US Open ‘Virtual Grounds’ For the first time, fans around the world will be able to explore an interactive model of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center via the Virtual Grounds, bringing the on-site experience at the US Open to every fan. Accessible at VirtualGrounds.USOpen.org and on the US Open app, the Virtual Grounds features a wide variety of interactive opportunities, including live practice streams, virtual shopping and games in US Open Collection stores and sponsor booths, viewable artwork through the US Open’s Be Open ‘Open Canvas’ exhibit, ‘Ask the Open’ chat-bot and a multi-day tennis-ball scavenger hunt, with tickets to the 2022 US Open as the grand prize.
Million-Dollar Bracket Challenge Fans will also have the opportunity through the 2021 US Open’s Million-Dollar Bracket challenge to win $1 million for picking either the men’s or women’s singles bracket results perfectly. Fans can find out more (including official rules) and fill out men’s and women’s singles brackets on USOpen.org.
US Open Fantasy Tennis presented by IBM, and Match Insights with Watson IBM and the USTA have collaborated to introduce new, innovative fan experiences for this year’s US Open, driven by IBM Watson artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and powered by hybrid cloud technologies, to empower millions of fans around the world to experience the US Open in new ways.
The US Open will offer Fantasy Tennis for the first time this year, which will have IBM Match Insights integrated into the experience to assist users in making the most informed fantasy selections for their teams.
IBM is also relaunching Match Insights with Watson this year, with new features to help brief fans on key insights ahead of every singles match. The AI-generated fact sheets use natural language processing from Watson Discovery to gather the most relevant information into a summary of key performance metrics for fans.
Live Streaming Shows and US Open Podcast
Three US Open live shows will deliver a fresh take on what’s happening throughout the main draw on USOpen.org and the US Open’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Courtside: The US Open Podcast will also feature discussion on all things tournament- and tennis-related, including interviews with current and former players, analysts and the occasional celebrity tennis fan, hosted by Marc Sterne and available anywhere fans get their podcasts.
Broadcast Coverage of all Main Draw, Qualifying, Wheelchair and On-Site Junior Matches ESPN’s live streaming will include all courts at the US Open. Matches from singles, doubles, juniors and wheelchair competitions will be streamed live on the ESPN App across ESPN3 and ESPN+. ESPN also featured expanded streaming coverage of US Open qualifying., with all 14 courts receiving dedicated coverage on ESPN+ – up from five courts in 2019, the last time qualifying was held – from start to finish on all four days of Qualifying.