Skift Take

Orlando will use its partnership with the USTA to add tennis to its long list of family-friendly attractions for domestic and international visitors.

Orlando is one of the most visited U.S. destinations among international tourists, but the evergreen popularity of its theme parks and resorts hasn’t stalled the city in finding ways to attract even more visitors.

Visit Orlando recently partnered with the United States Tennis Association to sponsor the two-week US Open, the start of a year-long partnership that will give the destination marketing organization access to USTA’s 750,000 members.

Visit Orlando was the exclusive tourism sponsor of the two-week event so no other destination was seen or promoted throughout that time; however, Emirates Airlines was also an event sponsor. Visit Orlando’s logo could be seen around the US Open grounds as well as prominently displayed within the main Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The marketing partnership also comes right after news that USTA’s headquarters are set to move from New York to Orlando where the USTA will be building a 100-court training and player development facility.

“What does this mean to us from a destination marketing standpoint?” asks Visit Orlando CEO George Aguel.

“We will be able to state that Orlando is the home of American tennis. We think it’s a pretty interesting level of awareness.”

Another key reason why Visit Orlando entered into a relationship with USTA is the global reach of the US Open as well as the make-up of its membership base.

Orlando is among the fastest growing U.S. cities for international tourists.

More than 3.7 million tourists visited the city in 2013, an 11 percent increase over 2012, according to the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office. Those numbers are even higher — international visitation increasing from 3.3 million in 2009 to 4.8 million in 2013 — according to Visit Orlando.

The US Open is one of the most watched annual sporting events. It’s a high-profile way to get the Orlando name in front of even more international visitors.

Visit Orlando will continue its partnership throughout the year through print and digital marketing platforms. The organization is focused on targeting women, which account for 51 percent of the association’s member base.

“The most qualified part of the USTA membership is females,” explains Aguel. “Mothers and women are always an important part of the vacation planning process.”


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Tags: florida, sports, visit orlando

Photo credit: Maria Sharapova of Russia returns the ball to Flavia Pennetta of Italy during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York, on Friday, September 2, 2011. Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke / Newsday/MCT

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