Fans of the Australian Open can expect a line-up of fun and surprising experiences beyond the official games this year, with Mastercard, the Official Payment Partner of the Australian Open in Melbourne, extending its Priceless offering through its sponsorship of the event.
Affectionately known as the Happy Slam amongst the tennis community, the Australian Open is a sporting calendar highlight for tennis players and hard core fans alike. In its first year of sponsoring the Happy Slam, Mastercard’s focus is on serving pure happiness throughout the event, to make it the happiest slam yet.
The sponsorship aligns with Mastercard’s brand strategy, ‘connecting people to Priceless possibilities,’ which provides emotional and experiential connections anchored to nine consumer passions: sports, entertainment, music, travel, art and culture, culinary and dining, philanthropy, shopping and the environment.
Tied to this is Mastercard’s Priceless Cities initiative, a global digital experiential platform that provides Mastercard cardholders with unique opportunities to connect with the cities in which they live an travel. In partnering with Tennis Australia, this includes access to one-of-a-kind experiences, privileged event access and special merchant offers throughout the Australian Open. Additionally, exclusive money-can’t-buy opportunities will be offered randomly to lucky cardholders throughout the event.
Mastercard has recruited ambassadors Martina Hingis and Lleyton Hewitt to surprise fans and spectators with priceless experiences at in unexpected times, aligning with Mastercard’s Priceless offering.
Mastercard also introduces the Happy Slam’s first ever game of Tap Tennis, a two player digital tennis game housed on a touch screen table. Mirroring a real tennis match, one player serves and points are scored from love to game point. Hewitt and Hingis will face-off in an exhibition match on Mastercard Monday, 23rd January – the first ever digital tennis game to be played between two tennis champions.
Fans can also try their hand at Tap Tennis in an onsite tournament throughout the Open, or until 20th January online. Four finalists will be selected from the online competition, and four onsite, to play in a finals series at the Happy Slam on 26th January. The grand prize includes flights, accommodation and tickets for two to Roland-Garros in Paris.
A ‘happiness meter’ has been created and will track the levels of happiness at the Open. As the meter rises, more Priceless Surprises and offers will be unlocked.
The happiness will be amplified even further during a designated ‘happy hour’, at which time spectators may be surprised and delighted by Mastercard with ticket upgrades, giveaways and access to Mastercard’s lounge, the HappiNEST.
Sam Ahmed, senior vice president, Marketing, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said, “As one of the world’s most celebrated major sporting events, the Australian Open provides us with an unique opportunity to connect and engage deeply with Mastercard cardholders, including a growing number of fans from across Asia. At the heart of our partnership with Tennis Australia is the promise to create Priceless possibilities for cardholders, including exclusive experiences and special privileges just for them. Whether it’s a surprise upgrade of tickets or the chance to meet world champion tennis players like our Mastercard Ambassadors, we look forward to celebrating new Priceless moments with cardholders and the millions of fans at the Happy Slam.”
In 2016 the Australian Open attracted a record crowd of 720,363 people. With 13 percent of attendees visiting from overseas, the tournament is a significant tourism driver for Australia.