The USTA and IBM announced recently the launch of USOpen.org, now re-designed with enriched streaming offerings, enhanced social media integration and new content.
The site, along with new mobile features being offered for the first time, will allow fans to stay connected to the US Open in more ways than ever before. USOpen.org is the premier source and destination for multi-media coverage of the US Open and remains one of the most highly-trafficked sports event websites in the world.
IBM, the USTA's exclusive information technology solution provider, developed and hosts the site (www.usopen.org). USOpen.org generated an all-time record 63.5 million visits during last year's US Open, which represents a 63% increase from the record visits in 2008.
For the first time, all matches played on the five television courts of the US Open (Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court 11 and Court 13), will be streamed domestically live for free on USOpen.org. Live streaming of all of these US Open matches will have DVR functionality. In all, more than 200 matches will be made available free of charge, including the men's and women's finals.
"Live streaming of matches was extremely popular with our fans last year, and now with the addition of all the CBS Sports windows – including the men's and women's singles finals, we are bringing the entire US Open to our fans wherever they are," said Phil Green, USTA Senior Director, Advanced Media. "Our goal is to connect fans to the tournament in every way and at any time."
"The overall experience continues to be enhanced for fans whether they are in the stands, at home watching their television or in front of their computers," said Rick Singer, Vice President, Client Executive Marketing, IBM. "Given the ongoing demands of fans for new technology and new ways to enjoy the sport, we're constantly challenged to stay ahead. This year's website and mobile enhancements do just that by introducing new ways for fans to interact with the tournament wherever they are."
Also new in 2010, will be a new feature on the already popular Official US Open iPhone app developed in conjunction with IBM that will provide users on-site at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center "augmented reality." With this new functionality, fans in attendance can direct their iPhones at different points around the grounds and look through walls to check live scores and stats on specific courts and Stadiuims, and show locations and distances of food options, restrooms, first aid facilities, wheelchair accessibility and other information around the US Open. The iPhone app also will contain an interactive grounds map sponsored by American Express.
The 2010 site also will allow for greater integration of social media platforms, whereby fans can comment on all the action on both USOpen.org and on their own Facebook and Twitter accounts simultaneously.
New features for 2010 include:
Live Streaming: US Open will offer the most extensive live streaming in the history of the event through it's "US Open Live" product, airing all matches from the five television courts, including the men's and women's finals. Streaming up to five matches simultaneously,"US Open Live" will make more than 200 matches available for free within the United States. Live streaming, which will also be available on iPads, will integrate live match stats updates, DVR functionality, fan commenting and picture-in-picture capabilities.
iPhone Application: The USTA and IBM have enhanced the official US Open iPhone Application to include "augmented reality" for the first time. Using GPS and camera functionality "augmented reality" allows fans to scan the grounds and look through walls to check live scores and stats on specific courts, and show locations and distances of food options, restrooms, first aid facilities, wheelchair accessibility and other information around the US Open. The re-designed App will also offer live streaming of USOpen.org Radio and an interactive grounds map – features from American Express, on-demand video clips including match highlights, a streaming Twitter feed of official tournament news and player insights, photos and more.
Site Re-Design: USOpen.org boasts a brand new design for 2010. The new look-and-feel encapsulate the US Open's iconic imagery and "It Must Be Love" campaign while allowing users to more easily access the content that matters to them most. Video clips, scores, draws, stats, headlines, and social media tools are all easily accessible right at the users' fingertips. Additionally, the site has been optimized to be iPad-friendly so all of the outstanding content – including live and on-demand video – will be easily accessible to iPad users with the same functionality as on their computer.
US Open Bracket Challenge: Again in 2010, USOpen.org will house and operate the official US Open Bracket Challenge, allowing fans to fill out the US Open brackets online to win prizes. With separate competitions for the men's and women's singles draws, the participants compiling the most bracket points in each draw by the end of the tournament will win a trip to the 2011 US Open. New this year, fans can also create specific groups to compete with – and against – their friends while remaining eligible for the grand prize. The challenge will go live following the US Open Draw Show, aired live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com on Thursday, August 26.
Drive to the Championship presented by Mercedes-Benz: For the first time, USOpen.org will offer a daily analysis program breaking down the latest action from the court and looking ahead to how each result will impact the chase for the US Open championship. With analysis from Todd Martin and Malivai Washington, "Drive to the Championship presented by Mercedes-Benz" will emanate from the Mercedes-Benz booth in the East Plaza of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center each day.
US Open PointStream: For the first time, fans will be able to see the scores and statistics of matches come to life with US Open PointStream. Aces, serve speed, winners and all other key data of a match is visualized in real-time - allowing the online fans to get an immediate and accurate visual sense of a match in progress. In addition, there will be a Momentum Meter, which shows which player has a current statistical edge. Key insights and trends will allow the online fans a level of engagement with matches that has never been seen before
Mobile Features: In addition to the iPhone Application, official US Open mobile content will include a dedicated mobile site (m.usopen.org) where fans can listen live to USOpen.org Radio presented by American Express, get live scoring updates, watch video highlights and more; users can also sign-up for more than 250 different types of free SMS alerts, including individual player updates for any player in the main draw, breaking news, weather information, TV schedules, ticket availability, and updates as to the latest events at SmashZone and around the grounds.
Live Scoring: As in years past, USOpen.org is the exclusive destination for all US Open point-by-point live scoring. Fans can stay apprised of all the live action, through the site's "SlamTracker" application. Additionally, they can follow the draw as it unfolds using SlamTracker's Interactive Draws feature.
eSurance Quote of the Day: Each day, the USOpen.org team will sort through the press conferences and select the best Quote of the Day presented by eSurance. At the tournament's conclusion, the Quotes of the Tournament presented by eSurance will be unveiled.
US Open All-Access: Fans will enjoy unprecedented multimedia access to the US Open. In addition to "US Open Live", an embedded video player will allow users to watch exclusive video highlights, player interviews, classic matches, junior reports and more. USOpen.org will also feature an "Around the Grounds" section, highlighting the daily off-court activities at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
FanZone: Tennis fans will have the opportunity to be part of a US Open online community where they can enter comments, caption photos and gain access to the latest tournament happenings. Through the enhanced: "As It Happens", a USOpen.org writer will provide timely updates, photos and videos to users around the globe, while letting the users submit comments or ask questions from first ball to last; "Caption It", an opportunity for online users to create their own captions for one of the day's best photographs from around the grounds of the Open; and Twitter and Facebook – links to and from the official US Open Twitter Channel and Facebook Fan page.
Spanish Widget: USOpen.org will again offer a Spanish-language widget that will contain scores, headlines, and photos; users will easily be able to post the widget to their blogs, websites and Facebook pages.
US Open.org Seat viewer: USOpen.org will feature an interactive application allowing fans to check out the view from their seat from anywhere in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The application also allows fans to plot "door-to-Stadium" directions from their homes, whether they walk, take mass transportation or drive
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