The US Open Mobile App: A Personalized Mobile Concierge

Last week, I got to make a dream come true.

Growing up on Long Island and being an avid tennis player, I always yearned to go to the US Open. But for various reasons, I could never make it happen. I would watch matches on tv or read about them online or in the paper, wishing I could have been there to experience all the action up close and in person.

So imagine my happiness when I had the opportunity to go for the first time this year. And not only that, I got to take along my Dad who, at 83, had wanted to go almost as badly as I did for years, but had never gone either.

urban airship product manager bill schneider and his dad at the us open

And after so many years of anticipation, the event was everything I had dreamed it would be. It was magical. And a big part of what made it magical was, believe it or not, the US Open app.

A Mobile Experience That Felt Like Having a Personal Concierge at My Fingertips

How many event apps have you downloaded that don’t go beyond the basics? Many do little more than list out the day’s events – basically the same experience you could get from a paper program or a website.

As an on-site guest at the US Open, I had a completely different experience. The app covered the basics, but went way, way beyond. The Open team clearly spent time and effort considering what elements would surprise and delight guests, and executed against them flawlessly.

The result was an app that met and anticipated my needs while surprising me with extras and perks with a wow factor.

 Urban Airship is proud to work with the US Open to meet their goals and enhance the app user experience by creating amazing mobile moments. Learn more in our case study.

Here’s a highlight reel of how the US Open app helped make my experience magical:

Red-Carpet Welcome  

It started with a beacon-powered welcome message when I passed through the entrance gates. The message immediately got me oriented to the basics: the day’s schedule, events around the grounds and how to access free wi-fi to make my digital experience free, fast and friction-less.

us open app welcome message screenshot     us open app what is happening on the grounds screenshot

In-App Message Center

Once in the app, I found a number of great features to help wrap the Open around me so I didn’t miss a thing!

The Inbox offered me a central place for me to see and manage all of my messages for the day. It would provide me with details on the grounds that day, services that I hadn’t yet taken advantage of like the fancam or on demand video replay — and of course, a reminder of featured matchplay.

us open app check your inbox from courtside screenshot     us open in-app message center screenshot   

Personalized Content

The app invited me to follow my favorite players so I could stay up to date on their latest scores. This was really handy when I had to pop out of my seat to grab a drink and a pretzel.

us open app choose your favorite players screenshot

Real-Time Notifications on Match Play, Rain Delays & More

The app also gave me up-to-the-minute updates on match play so I didn’t miss a thing, even if there was a rain delay. And they wisely gave me control on whether I wanted to receive notifications on my favorite players.

us open app schedule update screenshot     us open app notifications screenshot     

Extra Mobile Perks

While not directly connected to messaging, two extra mobile-related perks were extremely memorable.

The first was the “Charge & Watch” device. This allowed me to get instant replays of the action AND charge my phone at the same time.  (Who wouldn’t want to replay that beautiful Wawrinka backhand over and over and over again?)

us open app charge and watch replays screenshot

The second was the in-stadium fan cam that allowed guests to take a selfie from a number of cameras in the stadium. I wish I had taken advantage of it, but I was so wrapped up in match play that I forgot! Oh well, next time.

us open app fan cam screenshot

Integrating Mobile into Your Next Event: Going From Great to Epic

Bottom line, I had an incredible, memorable experience watching amazing athletes from around the world vie for their chance to win one of the biggest prizes in sports. What’s not to love.

But it was even better with a virtual concierge in my pocket keeping me up to speed and in the know on everything that was happening.   

That kind of experience is what takes mobile engagement from great to epic.

Want to brainstorm ideas for your next event? Our team is ready and willing to share what works for brands of all kinds and sizes. Get in touch anytime and let’s get started!