NEW YORK - American Express Co. has unveiled a promotional campaign for this year's U.S. Open tennis tournament that includes a customized advertising campaign, an all-star charity event, and cardholder concierge services at the tourney's Flushing Meadows stadium.

American Express, an official sponsor of the U.S. Open since 1994, has added tennis celebrity appearances to its roster of courtside perks this year. On certain days, tennis stars Martina Hingis and Patrick Rafter will be "celebrity package checkers" and sign autographs for guests at the free package check for cardholders. On Sept. 4, Labor Day, Michael Chang is to sign autographs and pass out free one-ride Metrocards for New York City mass transit.

This year's advertising is to feature seven players in Amex's "member since" campaign. The players - both current and former stars - include Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, and Bjorn Borg. The campaign will use subway cars, buses, billboards, and a variety of print publications as media.

During the U.S. Open, Amex is offering free gifts or discounts at six stores in New York. At Paragon Sports, for example, customers can get a free can of tennis balls with a purchase of $25 or more paid for with an American Express card.

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