Two weeks in Tennis Paradise.
That’s how the organizers of the BNP Paribas Open, also known as the Indian Wells Masters and the Indian Wells Open, bill the famous annual tournament. Established in 1974, the tournament is one of the major tennis events of the year and typically draws hundreds of thousands of fans to the Coachella Valley of Southern California.
Let’s take a look back at the results of the tournament, some of the exciting live events offered, and this year’s innovations in marketing and brand activation.
The BNP Paribas Open Results: A New Generation on the Rise
The BNP Paribas is often called the “fifth Grand Slam,” as it is the most-attended tennis tournament outside of the four Grand Slam tournaments. It is the second largest tennis tournament in both North and South America, behind only the US Open.
Since its founding, the tournament has been played in Indian Wells, California, near Palm Springs. The dry desert environment usually guarantees sunny skies and prime playing conditions. The tournament’s location, outside of the LA Metro area but close enough for a reasonable commute, encourages fans to congregate from all over the world.
This year’s main storyline was about two young phenoms representing the future of tennis who climbed their way to wins in men’s and women’s singles: Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan. Alcaraz is only 19 and is already ranked as the world’s number one player in men’s singles. Rybakina is 23 and the first Kazakhstani player to win a title at a major tennis tournament.
The two star athletes have polar opposite styles, with Alcaraz described as being “all smiles… with wide-eyed enthusiasm” and Rybakina as “perfectly pleasant, measured, and polite.” Both appear to have many great years of tennis ahead of them.
Live Events and Activities in Tennis Paradise
At Show Ready, we appreciate a well-planned live event with great event exhibit design. The BNP Paribas Open stepped up their already considerable game this year with an impressive slate of activities to immerse fans in the world of tennis.
Some of these tennis live events included:
- An all-new Family Day just before the official start of the tournament, which allowed kids to come on the court and enjoy special drills and activities, along with trampolines, obstacle courses, arts and crafts, and live music.
- It’s not just about fireworks anymore. The usual Friday Night Firework Show was accompanied by a Drone Show the next day. This innovative form of entertainment features drones with LED lights mounted on them flying overhead in mesmerizing patterns. It’s a new frontier in live event design.
- Fans were able to participate in their favorite sport and hop on the court themselves thanks to the BNP Paribas Open Demo Court, which featured clinics, drills, games, and equipment demos featuring the latest racket technology from tournament partner HEAD.
- Attendees were blessed with a cornucopia of food and drink options. Food Network Celebrity Chef Jet Tila opened a new restaurant on tournament grounds: Bistro 88. The liquor flowed as well, thanks to Official Champagne Partner Möet & Chandon and Official Tequila Maestro Dobel.
A brand-new Tennis Paradise Shop opened, featuring a larger space than previous years.
Marketing, Sponsors, and Brand Activations
This year, we also saw some marketing and sponsorship innovations at the BNP Paribas Open.
A new marketing campaign featured an eye-catching color scheme that captured the beauty of the tournament’s desert location with deep reds and oranges, along with the spirit of tennis in vibrant greens and blues. Simple cutout-style animation gave a vibrant sense of motion and energy to the tournament’s TV spots.
Sponsor company Universal Tennis introduced an effective brand activation: the UTR College Match Challenge. Universal Tennis is a global network of tennis and pickleball players dedicated to connecting fans and creating innovative events. This year, the company brought two top-ranked college men’s tennis teams to play together in Indian Wells: USC and Pepperdine. The results of the match: USC barely defeated Pepperdine 4-3 in front of 1800 fans. By all measures, the activation succeeded at its goal: to promote college tennis on one of the biggest tennis stages in the world.
Throughout the tournament, each sponsor enjoyed a dedicated sponsor day, which featured special activations and giveaways. The list of sponsors included:
- City of Indian Wells
BMW owners got a special perk at the tournament: free parking! After BMW was named as the tournament’s Official Premium Automotive Partner, lucky BMW owners were offered preferred parking passes.
Takeaways from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open
This year’s tournament was a huge success, setting a single-day attendance record of over 61,000 fans. More than 425,000 fans attended in total. With the amount of enthusiasm that fans have demonstrated for tennis, along with the rising stars showcased at this year’s tournament, the future of the sport looks bright.
At Show Ready, we keep our eye on major live events like the BNP Paribas Open to hone our ability to craft custom trade booths and brand activations. We pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of the live events industry and look forward to unveiling our next builds for top-tier clients.
-Photos from BNP Paribas Open Website. https://bnpparibasopen.com/