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Emirates Airline heightens experiences of Tennis fans and young people at the 2012 US Open

11 September 2012

Memorable Experiences for Tennis Fans and Local Youth Included a Kids’ Clinic, Racquet Return Program, Emirates Day Events, Courtside Seats, Arthur Ashe Stadium Luxury Suite, and More as the Official Airline of the US Open.

DUBAI, U.A.E., 11th September 2012: Emirates Airline has concluded its inaugural year as an Official Sponsor of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. The airline’s on-site presence throughout the tournament exemplified the brand’s deep commitment to hospitality and reflected the values of its ‘Hello Tomorrow’ brand promise: global connectivity, exploration, the power of unique experiences. Beginning with its Kid’s Clinic in late August through to the tournament’s end, Emirates brought its unparalleled service to the grounds of the US Open.

Racquet Return Program

Emirates Media Player

Emirates Airline US Open Champion Andy Murray

All summer long, the Emirates’ Racquet Return bin traveled the country collecting the gently-used racquets of fans across the nation, refurbishing them, and donating the restored racquets to USTA Serves programs. The Racquet Return program was continued at the US Open, the culmination of Emirates’ community service efforts across the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Each tennis fan at the US Open that donated their racquet into the Racquet Return bin was entered to win the ultimate US Open Experience: two tickets to the 2013 US Open Men’s Final, including the airline’s signature chauffeur service to and from the Tennis Center. The Racquet Return program collected over 900 racquets across the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open. 

The multi-faceted Racquet Return program also included hosting a Kid’s Clinic on Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day. On August 25th, Emirates provided a group of local youth the opportunity to experience the US Open and learn tennis skills from the sport’s best mentors. In partnership with the USTA, four-time Grand Slam winner Jim Courier conducted a Q&A, autograph and photo session with the visiting children, who then participated in a tennis clinic lead by five teaching professionals. 

First Class Lifestyle

Emirates brought its world-class service and exquisite hospitality to ground level, just steps away from tournament play. The airline transplanted a first class cabin from its A380 aircraft inside its Lifestyle Booth, providing 15,000 guests with an up-close look at its luxurious on-board accommodation. 

Cabin Crew members further simulated the iconic Emirates in-air experience by serving guests with nearly 5,000 cups of fresh Arabic coffee, dates, chocolates and refreshing cool towels next door at the US Open Club presented by Emirates Airline. Almost 4,000 Club guests enjoyed Emirates seat cushions, providing comfort throughout their time at the stadium.

Luxury Hospitality Suite

The Emirates Hospitality Suite proved to be the most exclusive, sought-after location to view tournament play, welcoming both VIP guests and international celebrities into the double suite to enjoy the highest level of hospitality service with a premium culinary experience in a truly unique environment. 

Dozens of hosted celebrity guests included the likes of comedian Will Ferrell, actress Eva Longoria, singing sensation and actress Jordin Sparks, actors Josh Hartnett and Jesse Williams; film director Baz Luhrmann; All-Star New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey; Grammy Award-winning musician Paul Simon; Super Bowl Champion and current ESPN analyst Antonio Pierce; and tennis legends such as John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Jim Courier, Todd Martin, and future tennis star Jack Sock, among many others. 

Ball Flight

Among the most iconic US Open traditions, Emirates gave tennis fans the opportunity to experience the Ball Flight – traditionally, the moment when winning players hit autographed tennis balls into the stands at the match’s end – right from the player’s training shoes. Using state-of-the-art technology, over 3,000 visitors to the Ball Flight Experience were simulated onto court level of Arthur Ashe Stadium, used a 3D racquet, and served a virtual tennis ball out of the stadium and into one of Emirates’ numerous global destinations. 

Social Media Visualizer

Participants then enjoyed their moment of Ball Flight fame through a souvenir photo of them posing within the game, sent to them via email. These photos, as well as Twitter feeds trending on the US Open, streamed live on the adjacent Social Media Visualizer, connecting fans on the ground with those watching worldwide. 

In addition to personal photos of the fan enjoying the Ball Flight Experience, tennis patrons were also gifted with Emirates memorabilia, including over 2,000 pens, 4,000 magnets, and 34,000 hand fans.

Emirates Day

Emirates celebrated their partnership with the US Open on Emirates Day, September 2nd, through three in-stadium programs for tennis fans to win a trip to Dubai. 

The airline’s long-standing Spot the Cap promotion arrived at Arthur Ashe on Emirates Day, providing 7,000 tournament patrons with red Emirates-branded hats as they entered the tournament grounds. Spotted by Cabin Crew members for wearing her Emirates cap during the match, one lucky tennis fan was awarded with a grand prize trip to Dubai. 

Fan Cam technology captured a 360-degree photo of the Emirates Day crowd; fans were able to find and tag themselves in the picture, and then share the image via their personal social media platforms. 

For September 2nd only, Emirates extended its Ball Flight activation from its Booth into the stadium with the help of tennis legend and Hall of Famer Mats Wilander. Mats took center court and hit six red Emirates-branded tennis balls into the stands. The lucky crowd members who caught the tennis balls were then given Emirates gift bags, one of which contained a specially-marked tennis ball inside, awarding the recipient with a grand prize trip to Dubai.


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