Mar 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM
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Sony Ericsson Open 'Mayors' Will Flip Pre-Match Coin Tosses

An interesting stat that came out of the MIT Sloan Sports Conference last week: sports stadiums & arenas are the #2 place checked in on Facebook, coming in behind only airports. So it would seem logical that with the proliferation of location-based services like Foursquare, SCVNGR, Gowalla and Facebook Places, LBS activation is becoming a must have for many sponsors. Sony Ericsson has teamed up with LBS-heavyweight, foursquare, to make next week's Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament what they're calling the "first ever fully-integrated foursquare sporting event."

Sony Ericsson is offering the 300,000 fans that attend each year with the chance to win prizes by checking-in at designated venues at the Sony Ericsson Open on their mobile phones. Those lucky enough to redeem the Sony Ericsson Tennis Fan Badges will be able to receive discounts on tickets for select sessions, as well as have a chance of winning access to post-match press conferences with the players and personal autograph signings. Those checking into foursquare can also access tips and match results for the duration of the tournament.

“The partnership with foursquare is a great way to reward tennis fans and engage with people through their smartphones," Calum MacDougall, Head of Global Marketing Partnerships, Sony Ericsson said. "We think this is a fantastic way to build on the success of the Sony Ericsson Open and continue to find ways to improve the experience for tennis fans.

Fans who become the ‘Mayor’ of each court throughout the tournament will have the chance to win the ultimate prize – the opportunity to participate in a pre-match coin toss.

"We're thrilled that Sony Ericsson is using the foursquare platform to reward tennis fans attending the Sony Ericsson Open," Dennis Crowley, CEO, foursquare commented. "Combined with the tips and match scores that Sony Ericsson will be providing through foursquare, these Specials will create a truly unique and engaging experience for attendees."

“I love the idea that Sony Ericsson and foursquare are giving fans the chance to become a key part of the game, rather than just being spectators," World Number 1, Caroline Woznaicki, said. "The Sony Ericsson Open is always an amazing tournament on the tour, so it seems natural that we give the fans the ultimate tennis experience here in Miami.”