The objective was to use the recent features of Instagram [all individual videos publishing as Reels and the Collaborations feature] to our advantage and push the boundaries on engagement, and reach new audiences.
Our team knew we had an opportunity to expand the reach of the tournament and our brand to new audiences through Collaborations. We strategized about who else could benefit from every piece of content we published, and added that account as a Collaborator. We accepted Collabs from players in our tournament like Rafael Nadal, celebrity fans like Joe Jonas and Oprah, other tennis Grand Slams, and even other sports accounts like the NFL, PGA, ESPN and the Washington Wizards. The tough part was risking a piece of content to a new Collaborator with the odds of them accepting being low, with a big pay-off. There were several of our Instagram posts that went un-collab’d because they were simply unaccepted by the other account for lack of knowledge of how to accept a Collab or lack of interest in the content for their own page.
Every exceptional highlight, top press moment, quirky fan moment, celeb-sighting and intense player win reaction was published as an Instagram Reel. Videos were fit vertically and utilized on-screen text to authentically provide context for users to instantly be pulled in by the video before they could scroll past it.
Through this strategic approach that spoke to tennis fans and non-tennis fans, we were able to grow our following on Instagram by 183k over the 3-weeks of the tournament.
Our Instagram engaged audience was 91.6% non-followers, proving that our Reels fed the algorithm, increased discoverability, and reached new audiences.
The beer-chug Reel that we Collab’d with beer-drinking influencer, Meg Lucky, is the top Instagram Reel posted from any sports federation or league in North America this year, currently sitting at 163M plays. *According to Meta
The US Open is the first Grand Slam to Collaborate highlights directly to players. Access to these highlights on their Instagram accounts provides incredible value to their personal social media presence, as well as extends the excitement of the US Open directly to their followings.
Bottom line results: 85M video views [33% growth from 2021] driven by Reels and Collabs during the tournament.