American Express Launches Maria Sharapova VR Experience At 2015 U.S. Open

The U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows, NY, is now in full swing and fans are lining up to see the world’s best tennis players duke it out on the court.

The opening of the popular ‘Grand Slam Event of the Year’ was spectacular and moving in every sense.

But this year something even more unique has been added to the 135th edition.

You vs. SharapovaYou vs. Sharapova

You see, American Express has unveiled a one-of-a-kind new virtual reality game to coincide with the annual two-week tournament.

And the virtual reality game is simply out of this world. Yes, the future has arrived.

It’s called “You vs. Sharapova,” and it marks a new script for the gaming world.

Through HTC Vive Technology and a cutting-edge Valve Lighthouse tracking system, tennis fans now have the chance to return a serve and play a game with Maria Sharapova at the 2015 U.S. Open.

Maria Sharapova VR Experience Filming in New York.Maria Sharapova VR Experience Filming in New York.

Phil Koutsis, the founder of InventorSpot.com, has played a lead creative role in the development of this new experience game. Koutsis is also the Senior VP Group Creative Director with Momentum Worldwide in New York City.

Fancy A Tennis Match With Maria Sharapova?

Do you think you can smoothly hit a 100 mile-per-hour serve from the Russian tennis star? This virtual reality game will let you soon find out.

The media had the opportunity to preview this virtual reality game prior to this year’s U.S. Open. And now fans get to play the game themselves at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

“Over the last several years, we've been immersing fans through technology in the game,” explains Deborah Curtis, who heads up the global sponsorships and experiential marketing for American Express.

She adds, “For us, virtual reality is sort of the next evolution of what we have been doing, which is put the fan at the center of the experience. And in this case, we're allowing the fan to join this virtual world of being on the court with one of tennis' greats, Maria Sharapova.”

The experience with Sharapova lasts for four minutes, and it is now hailed as the first ever consumer-oriented virtual reality game of its kind. The game will soon hit the market.

During the virtual match, tennis fans will enjoy hearing Sharapova interact with them.

“You’ve got potential. Come to the net and try some volleys,” she says.

Sharapova is just as happy as her fans are with this new technology and how it is real on every level.

Virtual reality… is coming to the U.S. open,” she says. “The most technical and detailed shoot ever.”

The 28 year-old tennis star says that she “cant’ wait for everyone to see it at the U.S. Open.”

Virtual Reality Gaming: The Future Is Here

“You vs. Sharapova” is truly an amazing invention and it marks a very unique chapter in the gaming industry.

Will a virtual reality game like this be a success on the market? Absolutely – everyone will want to get in on the action and play a match with Sharapova.

Maria SharapovaMaria Sharapova

She is arguably one of the best tennis players in the world, so thousands of her fans will definitely want to try out their skills with her on the court.

This virtual reality game will also help get people into shape and this is a good thing too. At home anyone will be able to pick up a racket and move around in hopes of crashing a serve back to her.

So, tennis anyone?