Breaking the silence at the US Tennis Open and bringing the tournament back to life.

Ian Kenny
3 min readSep 28, 2020


Together with our commercial partners Wasserman, we at Filmily have delivered a global world first. We put real crowds and true fans back into the heart of the biggest tennis major of the year.

The USTA and their commercial partner ‘American Express’ successfully used CrowdAmp, a joint venture between Wasserman and Filmily to deliver highly engaging Fan Based content onto screens across the Arthur Ashe court over the two weeks of the tournament.

Tennis fans all over the world were encouraged to download the USTA app in order to record their reactions and cheer on their favourite players.

As we all know the effect of Covid-19 on sport is particularly acute. It is impossible to underestimate the value that sport has on the global mental well-being of us all.

People love sport because it is exciting, a means of emotional expression, of escape from real-world troubles. It provides a sense of belonging and a connection to the wider world.

When sport is played behind closed doors, the negative experience is profound. Nothing could be more important in these difficult times than connecting with fellow human beings to share your passions.

Players have little or no reaction to their efforts on the court, they are used to fans noisily celebrating and cheering the flow of a game. The highs and the lows. Without crowds and their noise, player encouragement is gone.

Fans and viewers alike are used to seeing sport as a social interaction. Without being able to share the experience of being at or attending a game, makes viewing a very isolated experience.

The combination of these factors has implications for the commercial reality of all sports. Without player/fan engagement commercial partners may begin to question the value of their sponsorship deals. This in turn will have wider implications for the long-term sustainability of many sports.

The solution globally connects like-minded individuals, it brings together spectators from every part of the world creating a truly engaging fan experience.

In response to this crisis, Wasserman and Filmily have modified their platform to produce ‘CrowdAmp’ it allows fans to have an instant engagement with events, delivering the ability for fans to record reactions, commentaries and fun clips from home as they follow the flow of a game on their screens.

The CrowdAmp platform merges these fan reactions to create mosaics which can be shown on screens in stadiums and shared on social channels, drawing together isolated audiences and delivering a sense of normality by creating a genuinely engaging experience.

CrowdAmp was launched at the US Tennis Open and integrated into the USTA app which is managed by IBM. The platform was renamed ‘Fan Cam’ and sponsored by American Express. Fans were encouraged to download the USTA app in order to record their reactions. Games could be selected, and cheers sent in for individual players. A VIP area in the app enabled American Express Card Holders to send in a question that could be put to the players.

Fans saw themselves and their reactions on nine giant screens strategically placed around the Arthur Ashe Court, with each screen showing a mosaic of individual fan reactions.

Fans also received personal mosaics of their cheers which they could share on social media. The tournament was a massive success. Not only were the players delighted but the Tennis commentators were also very complimentary with Tim Henman and Annabel Croft regularly mentioning the highly engaging experience that the screens provided.

The app received over 32,000 fan reaction videos. It was a truly global experience with content coming in from 130 individual countries (over half the planet) and 4,000 cities. Nearly 10,000 personal mosaics were shared across social media. We estimate that the American Express sponsorship was amplified by a factor of 10. The men’s final had an equivalent media broadcast value of over €25,000 in the US alone.

CrowdAmp doesn’t just make the viewing experience significantly better. It directly addresses fan engagement by creating communities where fans can share experiences. It brings real life sound and video reaction into stadiums so players can see the real time reactions of their supporters. Finally, by engaging viewers, fans and the players it delivers back into sport the value that sponsors expect.