SOURCE: Heineken USA

August 18, 2008 08:00 ET

Heineken Serves Up New Consumer Events On and Off the Court at the 2008 US Open

James Blake Relationship Headlines Interactive Series of Events to Support Sponsorship

WHITE PLAINS, NY--(Marketwire - August 18, 2008) - To support its 17th year of US Open sponsorship, Heineken USA announced today a multi-faceted relationship with tennis star James Blake, along with other exciting consumer initiatives during the tournament. Blake will host a consumer charity event on August 22 at the World Financial Center as well as headline customized US Open ads and new Heineken Premium Light® point-of-sale signage. He will also attend this year's official US Open Player Party, hosted by Heineken Premium Light and the USTA, joining many of his fellow stars to celebrate the start of the tournament.

"We're excited about our relationship with James Blake -- he's a world-class athlete who exudes class and sportsmanship both on and off the court," said Brian Citron, senior brand director, Heineken Premium Light. "He'll bring a new level of excitement to our long-term sponsorship with the US Open."

In addition to the Blake relationship, Heineken is enhancing fans' enjoyment of the event by creating premium brand experiences onsite, as well as encouraging fans to "Share the Good" with Heineken Premium Light. This includes presenting the Heineken Star Award and sponsoring the popular Heineken Premium Light Hat Night for fans 21+ on Aug. 30. Fans onsite can visit the popular Heineken Red Star Café, which offers a lively sports bar atmosphere, and they can also enjoy Heineken and Heineken Premium Light from the mobile "Major Toms," which are portable backpack-style beer dispensers.

Share the Good with James Blake

On Friday, Aug. 22, Heineken Premium Light and James Blake will host an afternoon of complimentary activities at the World Financial Center, where Heineken USA will present James with a $10,000 donation to the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Anyone over 21 can step onto a custom-built court to return a pro-style serve from a unique ball machine shaped like a 6-ft tall Heineken Premium Light DraughtKeg™, and have a chance to win prizes including US Open tickets. The Metrotennis CTA will also give free tennis tips, and all participants receive a branded US Open hat.

Heineken Star Award

Heineken Premium Light and CBS-TV will award the Heineken Star Award to the player who "Shares the Good" from an athletic and philanthropic standpoint with a uniquely designed crystal trophy and a donation to their charity of choice. The winner will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 6 on CBS-US Open telecast, between the two men's semi-final matches. Past recipients of the Heineken Star Award include Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, James Blake, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and Serena Williams.

Heineken Red Star Café

Fans attending the US Open can take a break from the action at the Heineken Red Star Café, one of the most popular locations on the grounds. Patrons 21 and over can enjoy both Heineken and Heineken Premium Light in a special "Extra Cold Draught System," an innovative frozen ice tower that serves beer at extra cold temperatures. Fans can also watch the tennis matches on closed-circuit TV monitors. The Café, located outdoors in the South Plaza, is accessible to all ticket holders during the day and evening.

"Major Toms"

Making their return to the US Open grounds for the 2nd year, Heineken and Heineken Premium Light draught beer will be dispensed from the eye-catching draught backpacks known as "Major Toms." The Major Toms will be stationed in the South Plaza during both day and evening sessions.

Heineken Night

The official "Heineken Night" at the US Open is on Saturday, Aug. 30, where custom Heineken Premium Light/US Open branded hats will be distributed to fans 21 and over.

Official US Open Player Party

Heineken Premium Light and the USTA are hosting the second annual Official US Open Player Party on Friday, Aug. 22 to jump-start the tournament. This highly anticipated event, which will be held at The Empire Hotel, is expected to be a highlight of the tournament as it brings top players and celebrities together. James Blake, Serena Williams and Venus Williams will host the event while renowned DJ Cassidy will be spinning.

US Open Sponsorship

Heineken is currently in its 17th year of sponsorship with the US Open, which will continue through 2010. The sponsorship also includes prominent onsite and on court Heineken Premium Light signage.

About Heineken USA

Heineken USA Inc., the nation's premier importer, is a subsidiary of Heineken International BV, which is the world's most international brewer. Brands imported into the U.S. include: Heineken Lager, the world's most international beer brand; Heineken Premium Light, Amstel Light, a leading imported light beer brand; and Buckler non-alcoholic brew. Heineken USA is also the exclusive USA importer for the Tecate, Dos Equis, Sol, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands from FEMSA Cerveza of Mexico. Please visit EnjoyHeinekenResponsibly.com.

About the US Open

The 2008 US Open will mark the culmination of the Olympus US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking all major ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments in North America to the US Open. The US Open is the highest annually-attended sporting event in the world. More than 75 million viewers watched the 2007 US Open on CBS Sports and USA Network, and international broadcasts reached more than 180 countries. The 2008 US Open will be held Monday, August 25 through Sunday, September 7. Tickets for the 2008 US Open can be purchased four ways: 1) at USOpen.org; 2) by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; 3) at all Ticketmaster outlets; or 4) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office.

About the USTA

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the US and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. A not-for-profit organization with 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

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