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The U.S. Tennis Association’s Selfie Game Is On Fleek

Ahead of the 2016 U.S. Open, in Flushing, New York, the United States Tennis Association launched an epic experiment in selfiedom at Times Square.

New York City’s Times Square is constantly lit up with larger-than-life ads featuring the beautiful, rich, and famous. But on Thursday, the United States Tennis Association gave a bunch of regular people the chance to get their faces on the giant LCD screens that surround the so-called Crossroads of the World.

For two hours, USTA took control of six screens in Times Square, with the goal of attracting people to a sport that’s looking to hook younger fans. A small team on the street encouraged passers-by to take a selfie or three—and for a couple of minutes, those images towered over NYC’s busiest neighborhood.

At a likely cost of $25,000 or more per billboard, the stunt wasn’t cheap. It helped that some of the U.S. Open’s sponsors, such as Citizen Watch, let USTA borrow their screens for free for a little while.

In comments to The New York Times, USTA Managing Director for Marketing Nicole Kankam said the selfie strategy was all about engagement—getting people talking and hopefully convincing some of them to stop by the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, next week, or to at least watch the tournament on television.

“We’ve really got to engage a more socially active, a younger, more diverse demographic,” Kankam told the Times. “Socially engaging fans is a way to do that.”

Meanwhile, tennis is seeing some impressive investments, including a $600 million upgrade to the U.S. Open grounds, where a new retractable roof in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with a price tag of more than $100 million, is the big draw.

(via USTA's Twitter page)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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