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How USTA’s Authentic Social Media Marketing Drove Sales

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Executive summary

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) was looking for a way to expand their retail sales during the US Open, a tentpole event that comes and goes within just two weeks each year. USTA’s audience was older, so to broaden their reach, USTA would need to reach younger audiences. To achieve their goals, USTA onboarded Experiences from Khoros.

The USTA merchandise team had a problem: some of their digital assets created too much noise for their audience. They knew, for example, that they couldn’t send an email to the same audience every day with offers to buy different products — it just wasn’t an effective retail marketing strategy, especially for the younger, savvy audiences they were trying to draw in. USTA wanted to create a fresh, authentic retail marketing strategy in order to build trust with younger audiences, and so they leaned into user-generated content (UGC). But, UGC can be difficult to manage and keep track of, especially for brief events like the US Open. If USTA missed an important moment, they would need to wait another whole year in order to capitalize on the excitement, a risk they didn’t want to take.

With Experiences, USTA was able to generate conversations around UGC and then link to their product for purchase. USTA was also able to ensure they never missed a celebrity or former player wearing USTA or US Open-branded apparel. Using Experiences, they built Shop the Style, which allowed them to capitalize on UGC and trends happening at the US Open.

Experiences helped USTA expand their retail sales and link those sales directly to social referrals. Seeing a product on a celebrity or a former player made the shopping experience more contextual and authentic for their fans, and they were more inclined to want to purchase the products for themselves. By using Khoros technology and speaking to younger audiences, USTA saw increases across the board in engagement and awareness. By linking social media to retail purchases, USTA created an opportunity to place merchandise in front of their audience in a ground-breaking, genuine way.

How they made it work

  • Multi wifi


    Experiences to identify and curate UGC most relevant to the USTA and its younger viewers.

  • Multi winner


    Social content to individual product pages to drive online conversions directly from social media.

  • Multi blog


    Every conversation happening at and around the US Open during the two-week event.

  • Multi 206


    Retail sales and awareness among younger viewers with authentic conversations.

“With Khoros, we were able to capitalize on all of the conversations at #usopen and #shopthestyle, directly link them to our US Open shop — and attribute sales back to the social conversation.”
— Tara Osterhoudt
Manager of Digital Strategy and Partnerships, USTA


By pairing their retail products with engaging social content, USTA turned browsers into buyers, driving traffic from their shoppable gallery to the product page in their online merchandise store. With Experiences, USTA was able to effectively expand their audience to include younger viewers in a way that directly impacted their bottom line.

  • 3x

    Increase in viewer engagement

  • 60%

    Increase in page views

  • 10x

    Growth in clickthroughs