This will be all opinion / anecdote and data-free, so take it with as much salt as you must…
Yesterday I spent the day at US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York. I make the following possibly relevant observations:
1. This event, based on the handful of random years during I’ve attended, has steadily gotten more glitzy and it’s exploded in popularity. It has become the Super Bowl of the 1 Percent, unofficially but definitely.
2. I’ve never spent more money at a sporting event in my life. We’ll leave aside the ticket price – just in terms of eating, drinking and snagging a souvenir or two – I’d put this above any other match, game, tournament or championship anything I’ve ever been to. And nobody there seemed to give a shit. You wouldn’t believe the sheer volume of commerce taking place everywhere you look.
3. The sponsors are everywhere too. Between Grey Goose, Evian, Emirates Airlines, American Express, Mercedes Benz, IBM, Nike and Heineken, there wasn’t a single surface that hadn’t been plastered with a logo of some sort. And in terms of the hospitality tents, you would not believe the amount of money / technology these companies are now bringing to bear for this thing. Why American Express thinks it’s so important to “interact” with me all day I’ll never understand – and yet I’m walking around the grounds with one of their smart wristlets that’s, I don’t know, tracking my fucking Ben & Jerry’s intake or something. It was totally out of hand.
4. The place was packed and everyone is smiling. I know things aren’t this way elsewhere, but for wealthy New Yorkers and their aspirational underlings, it’s Avalon. The days of wine and roses. Real estate is booming, the markets have never been higher, advertising is back too and so is suing people. The professional classes and the east coast elite are literally drowning in cash once again. No one thought that so soon after catastrophe things would be back to normal for the FIRE Economy – let alone better than ever – but that’s what has occurred. The central question facing America now is whether or not this spreads or remains contained. I’m betting on the former – but when???
5. Ana Ivanovic is the sport’s next big thing. Maybe not on the scoreboard, but in real life.
That’s all, back later.