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Did you ever wonder what it was like to play an international tennis star like Maria Sharapova? Well if you head over to the U.S. Open in New York later this month, you won't have to wonder any longer, you can actually do just that via virtual reality technology, which allows you to virtually play against her at the American Expresses Fan Experience area. The financial services company is one of the U.S. Open sponsors.
"You vs. Sharapova" is just one of the experiences awaiting fans at the Fan Experience area, which includes everything from creating their own tennis video and getting professional tennis tips, to attending athlete Meet and Greets and entry to the International Tennis Hall of Fame Exhibit.
When cardholders need a break they can also head over to the American Express Card Member Club, where they can chill out and relax, and access some free perks including cellphone charging stations and iPads loaded with games for the kids. The U.S. Open takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from August 31 to September 13.
Virtual experiences and more
Just inside the east gate at the tournament, American Express has set up camp designating 20,000 square feet for their interactive programming which includes:
- Epic Matchup: People can star in their own tennis video from Arthur Ashe Stadium and they can share it on social media too.
- International Tennis Hall of Fame Exhibit: Fans can visit the The Original 9 and World Team Tennis exhibit, highlighting the launch of the WTA Tour and the co-ed tennis league World Team Tennis. The exhibit was curated by Billie Jean King.
- American Express Fan Court: If you want to improve your game you can head over to the fan court, where each day they will be featuring technology and tools that players can use to improve their game.
- Athlete Meet and Greets: During the event people will be able to get tips from the pros using a Q & A format.
- Fan Court Photo Op: people can snag a photo with a tennis star.
- USTA Tennis Programming: Fans will be able to take part in in USTA programming sessions, including adult tennis skills challenges, and 10-and-under tennis sessions as well as others.
On September 7, fans, whether they are an American Express member or not, can pick up one of 12,000 radio ear pieces at the gates, which let them listen to match updates and live play-by-play commentary via ESPN. American Express agents will also be on hand to help out cardholders during the event.
The U.S. Open TrendCast from American Express will keep fans abreast of trending topics at the event, while being able to access videos and photos.
Social Media at the U.S Open too
American Express has also created social media driven events, like the daily #AmexTennis debates that you can catch on Twitter with tennis professionals John Isner and Monica Puig for armchair tennis fans watching from home.