Moderna is sponsoring the U.S. Open tennis tournament to show fans its work doesn’t stop at vaccinating people against COVID-19.
The company will set up a booth throughout the duration of the tournament, between August 29 and September 11, to provide information about its mRNA technology. The sponsorship is part of a larger company effort to move beyond its reputation as a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer.
“We’re studying mRNA technology in 40-plus different programs across multiple different diseases,” Kate Cronin, Moderna’s chief brand officer, told PRWeek. “We want to start making this science accessible.”
September 9 will be Moderna night, meaning the company will display digital advertisements through the stadium in Queens, NY during the men’s second semifinals match. It will also encourage spectators to visit Moderna’s website to learn more about mRNA science.
Those watching on ESPN from home will see an ad featuring tennis legend Billie Jean King as she promotes mRNA and Moderna.
Cronin said Moderna decided to sponsor the tournament around the end of June.
She said associating with the sports event aligned with Moderna’s efforts to reach people where they are, and the time of year coincided with the start of booster shot season and the approach of omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shots.
“We sponsored the shot of the game with some NBA teams and some hockey,” she said. “Going where people are enjoying themselves, where they’re engaged, and being a part of their day-to-day life — we like sporting events because of that.”
Over 630,000 fans attended the U.S. Open in 2021.
This story first appeared on PRWeek US.