Agassi, American Express team up for US Open

NEW YORK: American Express has announced that tennis star Andre Agassi will promote the company's sponsorship of the 2003 US Open Tennis Championships through a number of advertising and promotional programmes.

These will include a new television commercial. The campaign will also include new print creative featuring tennis celebrities Monica Seles, James Blake and Daniela Hantuchova.

The tournament kicks off next Monday. Last year, Agassi lost an emotionally charged final to Pete Sampras. For the past 10 years, American Express has served as the 'Official Card of the US Open'. Through this year's integrated campaign, the company is looking to provide unique experiences and special benefits for card members, a release said.

The new Agassi commercial builds on the ongoing umbrella advertising campaign The Official Card, which leverages the official card status that American Express holds with a variety of sports and entertainment sponsorships including the US Open.

In the spot, the tag-line is The Official Card of Parenthood showcasing Agassi's personal interests off the court. It shows Agassi in a humourous scenario using his American Express Card to purchase a ball hopper, which he then takes home and uses to pick up toys his son has scattered across the floor. The campaign will also incorporate a television ad featuring Seles, in the Official Card of Being Yourself, which debuted during last year's US Open.

Besides Agassi and Seles, rising stars James Blake and Daniela Hantuchova will also be featured in the 'Official Card of the US Open' campaign. Each of the players will appear in traditional and non-traditional media -- including print, online and major outdoor venues throughout New York. They will also be seen on highway billboards, ferries, buses, subways, taxis and at the US Open.

In addition to the ad campaign, American Express will also have a substantial presence on-site at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows and will feature several special card member benefit programmes throughout the tournament.

American Express has sponsorship relations with a number of entertainment and sports properties including Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, the NBA and WNBA, the US Open, Tiger Woods, Tribeca Film Festival and World Golf Championships.

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