To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US Open tennis tournament, ESPN teamed up with New York multidisciplinary artist Jessie Bearden to create an homage to the game and to two of its greatest players.
Using materials specific to tennis — balls, rackets and nets — Bearden created an on-court portrait of Roger Federer and Serena Williams. The promo, above, tells the story of producing that portrait as well as the promotional video campaign designed around it.
It took Bearden and her team a month of planning, measuring and designing to create the piece, including spray-painting by hand nearly 500 tennis balls and 232 tennis racquets.
Footage capturing Bearden deep in her process forms the heart of the promotional campaign ESPN and ESPN2 are running in advance of tennis’ fourth and final Major tournament of the year. The U.S. Open, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, runs from Monday, Aug. 27, through Sunday, Sept. 9, when it concludes with the men’s championship.
For the first time, ESPN will cover the action on all 16 courts with 130 hours broadcast on television and 1,300 hours streamed live on the ESPN app via ESPN3 and new direct-to-consumer video service ESPN+.
[Images courtesy Bas Berkhout/ESPN]