Bodyarmor teams with US Tennis Association ahead of Open this month

Dive Brief:

  • Bodyarmor Sports Drink has entered a multiyear partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which named the Bodyarmor Lyte beverage as the official sports drink of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships taking place Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, according to details provided by the beverage company.
  • Bodyarmor products will be distributed to players at U.S. Open matches and practices throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
  • The sports beverage brand will do additional digital marketing, social integrations, PR and retail events with Team Bodyarmor athletes and partners. Tennis champion Naomi Osaka will represent the brand at the refurbished tennis court facilities as part of an effort to inspire young athletes in her local Queens community.

Dive Insight:

Bodyarmor wants to align its product as the hydration source for tennis players and other athletes. This could be a big year for TV viewership of the U.S. Open due to other sports’ cancellation from the pandemic, giving the brand an opportunity to reach a wide audience of sports-starved fans at home.

Pent up demand to watch professional sports following cancellations is making sports TV viewership break records this summer. CBS Television Network’s live airing of the 2020 World Team Tennis Finals match was the most watched in the league’s 45-year history. The Australian Open, another event in the Grand Slam series, broke viewership records this year.

The U.S. Open, one of four global Grand Slam events, is the largest tennis event in the country and is generally an opportunity for major brands like Mercedes, IBM, American Express and Chase to show off new products through marketing. While the event will take place without fans in the stands, TV broadcasts and digital channels will allow these sponsors to get their messaging in front of fans.

Bodyarmor, now partially owned by Coca-Cola, has featured professional athletes in its marketing in recent years and focused on live sporting events to reach sports-minded audiences. The beverage brand worked with seven famed athletes for a May promotion including Osaka, James Harden, Mike Trout, Megan Rapinoe, Dustin Johnson, Carlos Vela and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

Athlete partnerships are common for sports drinks, and the deal with Osaka could be a good fit for this year’s U.S. Open. It allows the brand to play up its connection to its home in Queens, New York, by sponsoring a champion who was born there and learned tennis through the community programs at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

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