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Australian Open to feature new fan engagement initiatives
The Australian Open, which starts on Monday, is to feature new initiatives to engage tennis fans.
Widely recognised for its innovations, the Grand Slam tournament will offer opportunities for regular fans through to those willing to pay for premium experiences.
At the Rod Laver Arena, the tournament’s main venue, a new ‘Fan Cam’ feature will enable visitors to use the venue’s cameras to snap selfies.
Fans will then be able to visit a mobile site using their smartphone, input their seat number, and task one of the arena’s cameras to take a picture, which will then be sent to the phone.
The Australian Open will also offer the opportunity for a small number of tennis fans to enjoy a premium courtside experience with 16 on-court seats.
Sited on the location of the photographers' pit – now moved to another part of the Rod Laver Arena – the premium seats are a first at a major tennis tournament.
Echoing similar initiatives in North America’s NBA basketball, Tennis Australia is just one of several local sports bodies looking to tap new revenue streams at higher margins in the luxury customer market.
Tennis Australia Commercial Director Richard Heaselgrave says the on-court seats are attracting global interest, telling Fairfax media “we have fans coming over from China who have booked out all the available seats for the whole session for example.”
The experience includes private dining, a dedicated host, and the almost priceless experience of walking on the same hallowed blue surface as the players.
Within Melbourne Park, the event will also, for the first time, include a “mini theme park” with all-day entertainment for children and families throughout the tournament.
The AO BALLPARK will feature the Medibank Play Park trampoline attraction, a LEGO Play Zone, NERF Battlezone HQ, the Bob the Builder dance zone and the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Fan Zone and mini-courts.
5th January 2017 - ROD LAVER BRONZE STATUE UNVEILED AT MELBOURNE PARK
11th December 2016 - TENNIS AUSTRALIA STRENGTHENS INTEGRITY MEASURES AHEAD OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN
11th October 2016 - AUSTRALIAN OPEN ORGANISERS LOOK TO ENHANCE LINKS WITH ASIA FOR 2017 TOURNAMENT
19th September 2016 - COX ARCHITECTURE REVEALS ROD LAVER ARENA REDEVELOPMENT DESIGNS
5th May 2016 - TENNIS AUSTRALIA APPOINTS ANN WEST AS INTEGRITY HEAD
29th February 2016 - INNOVATION THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AT THE 2016 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
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