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US Open targets Chinese engagement with Douyin

The US Open grand slam tennis tournament has moved to boost its online presence in China by launching an official account on short-form video platform Douyin, the country’s version of TikTok.

It is hoped the move will help the tournament reach new audiences and young fans in China through video content, with Douyin currently boasting over 500m daily active users.

Douyin will also host the first ever mini-game produced by a grand slam tournament in China. The H5-format game will allow fans in China to practice their racket skills.

The US Open will also launch an influencer programme around the tournament for the first time, with Chinese celebrity Ni Leichu to visit Flushing Meadows in New York. Ni will be integrated into the Douyin launch and feature in exclusive content around his trip, the tournament and New York.

Lew Sherr, chief revenue officer of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), said: “Launching on Douyin and an interactive mini-game allows the opportunity to provide additional entertaining and localised content for US Open fans.

“China presents an extensive tennis and sport-centric fan base, something that is exciting as we expand on our global initiatives and presence in this key market. Activating on these new platforms will complement our existing linear and digital coverage through our partners in CCTV5 and Tencent.”

Chinese online streaming platform Tencent Sports holds rights to the US Open in a deal that expires after this year’s tournament.

The US Open, which this year takes place from August 26 to September 8, also has a presence on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

The US Open follows Fifa, football’s global governing body, in launching an official account on Douyin. Fifa launched on Douyin and news aggregator Toutiao in June.