Aug 31, 2009 at 04:13 PM
written by

In New York, Ambush Opportunities Abound

Now that we've booked our own ferry tickets to today's opening day of the U.S. Open, we figured we'd let you in on the this year's best U.S. Open tennis transportation secret: the Venus Williams Powerade Zero Ferry.

Powerade will offer tennis fans a free ferry ride to the tennis matches from August 31 to September 6 to promote its zero calorie sports drink in its ongoing battle with G2. But, of course, the free ride comes with brand messaging strings attached. From the Powerade website and tickets:

"And don't worry. The breeze and spectacular city views are also FREE of charge... as is the POWERADE ZERO you'll be drinking. POWERADE ZERO is also FREE of calories. Yes, you read that right: the electrolytes and B vitamins of a sports drink, without the calories. Hey, it's our pleasure."

On the Water Taxi's website, there's no mention of the U.S. Open, but rather all materials reference "the tennis matches."

There's also subway ads on the way to the open, taxi cab tops, bus wraps and billboards. Of course, most of these are occupied by official sponsors like American Express and Chase. Last year, for example, Chase used virtually all of these mediums last year to get the "C U @ THE OPEN" message out about their mobile ticket promotion.

The New York Water Taxi has partnered with a wide variety of events and venues including the musical Chicago, Cirque du Soleil and others, and in some cases brought in third party advertising partners such as Powerade in this case. The ferry leaves from and returns to the E. 35th St. Marina, and drops off at the World's Fair Marina.

Have you considered partnering with transportation companies in your area to create new inventory that takes sponsor messages to the fans both in and out of the stadium? If you don't, your sponsor's competitors might.