In an interesting partnership designed to highlight Bermuda as a tennis destination for the U.S. market, particularly for travelers from the Northeast, the Bermuda Tourism Authority has teamed up with the U.S. Tennis Association for a number of championship events, both in New York and on the courts of Bermuda.
The partnership kicks off with the 2019 U.S. Open, which takes place Aug. 26 to Sept. 8. The courts in Flushing, N.Y., just a few miles from midtown Manhattan, welcomed a record 828,798 attendees at the 2018 U.S. Open.
"Bermuda will have a significant presence at the Open with on-court signage and live tournament coverage in Arthur Ashe Stadium and on social media channels," said Victoria Isley, the Bermuda Tourism Authority's chief sales and marketing officer.
She added that that event is the prelude to tennis events planned as part of the partnership over the next three years in Bermuda, such as a Pro-Am tournament in Bermuda in 2020 that Isley said will bring additional visitor spending and exposure for Bermuda as a premier luxury and sports destination.
Additional events will include tennis clinics for kids and adults and exhibitions with tennis legends and rising American players.
"Tennis has important historical roots in Bermuda, and this partnership is an opportunity to tell that story while showcasing our offerings in the sport to future visitors," Isley said.
Credited by the International Tennis Hall of Fame as the "mother of American tennis," Mary Ewing Outerbridge, born in America to Bermudian parents, came across the game while visiting her family's Bermuda home in 1874, learning tennis from British officers stationed on the island.
She later brought tennis racquets and balls back to New York and introduced the sport in her home borough of Staten Island.
"An exclusive tourism partnership with the U.S. Open works for Bermuda on so many levels and helps set us apart from our competition," said Kevin Dallas, the tourism authority's CEO.
"The brand story of Bermuda introducing the sport of tennis to the U.S. is just one example of how we punch above our weight as a small island out in the middle of the Atlantic."
The collaboration puts Bermuda in the cultural conversation at one of the must-see events in New York City and aligns with Bermuda's visitor targets, 56% of whom are from the New York City metro market, according to Dallas.
And as summer comes to a close in the New York region, Bermuda will leverage the platform of the U.S. Open to invite visitors to extend the season with tennis adventures on the island.