Some of the biggest American Express sponsored events fall into sports. In fact, the card company is spending tens of millions a year to put its name on them.
Events, sponsored or otherwise, are a big part of American Express’ appeal. Being a cardmember of their service can get you into red carpet premieres, fancy restaurants and concerts.
However, some of the biggest sporting events are sponsored by American Express. The biggest one is the NBA in the US.
According to Sportcal, American Express spends $30m a year being a sponsor and partner of the league. The deal started in 2017 and makes American Express the halftime sponsor for the 67 games that network TNT covers. It also back halftime in NBA TV’s slate of 106 games.
American Express is also the official card of the NBA, the WNBA, and the G League. American Express card holders gain hospitality programmes and ticket offers around the NBA All Star game.
It also sponsors the Los Angeles Lakers in a $1m a year deal that began in 2018 and will go until 2020 at least.
In addition, American Express sponsors tennis tournament, the US Open. In a deal that began in 2016, it pays $10m a year for the privilege. However, the event and the company have been working together for over a quarter of a century.
At the US Open, American Express has continually worked with the US Tennis Association (USTA) to elevate the fan experience. American Express joined the USTA in pioneering and programming the US Open American Express Fan Experience, which has leveraged technologies to serve fans and present tennis in engaging ways.
In 2018, it brought the wearable Amex Band to the Open. There are a few features available to only card members, including the American Express Card Member Club, where card members can relax and enjoy complimentary services, including mobile phone chargers for use onsite and a refresh bar. There will be also be a pop-up US Open Collection store with exclusive merchandise for purchase exclusively for Amex Band users, and food and beverages available for purchase.
This is not the only tennis that American Express is interested in. It signed up to become a new sponsor of the Wimbledon tennis championships, the UK’s grand slam event, starting in 2019. That will cost the firm $4m a year.
Furthermore, American Express extended its partnership with the United States Golf Association, which includes sponsorship that sort’s own prestigious US Open.
The “multiyear renewal” was announced in advance of 2016’s US Open and will cost $2.5m a year.
American Express became the USGA’s first corporate partner 1in2006, and has offered innovative spectator experiences at the US Open, including the TrackMan Swing Zone.
The biggest events in sport seem to be drowning in American Express sponsorship. They are not the only card firm involved in this realm, as both Visa and Mastercard also sponsor world renowned sporting events. However, with exclusive Amex branded benefits and experiences, it might be a sponsor that customers prefer.