As the oldest tennis competition in the world, Wimbledon has cultural heritage extending far beyond most sports games. Some say it’s the most snobbish event in sport, but there’s no denying Wimbledon is one of the most prestigious events of the sporting calendar. More recently, organisations have embraced the old with the new as they find different ways to expand their global audience and capture the attention of younger, screen addict audiences.
Tradition vs technology at Wimbledon
For a tournament that still insists on players adhering to codes of conduct established in the 1800s, Wimbledon is forward-thinking about providing coverage for the 21st Century.
Over the past year, the Grand Slam has seen mobile users increase considerably . More viewers choose to catch up on matches and highlights via the official app of the games.
As of 2017, organisers announced the introduction of Fred, an in-app artificial intelligence (AI) programme. Named after British tennis legend Fred Perry, this futuristic, AI version of Perry will impact the Wimbledon app by doing everything from curating game highlights to processing the reactions of tennis fans worldwide via social media.
As Wimbledon makes conscious moves to take more control over how people consume coverage of the championships through the app, it also looks to adapt augmented reality in a bid to bring practice courts alive. Raising the interest and appeal of those at the event away from the high drama of Centre Court.
Importance of sponsorship rules
In wake of a firmer handle on its media coverage, Wimbledon always stands out for how assiduously it manages sponsorship.
For this competition, being a sponsor is also a very different prospect from any other sporting event. Wimbledon has strict rules to prevent the use of intrusive or overt advertising of any unauthorised brands.
For example, all official partners supply services or products to The Championship and this affects how they advertise. For instance, Rolex appears only on the clock, IBM on the scoreboard and service speed display. Then you have Slazenger on the balls and Evian and Robinson’s on the umpire’s chair where players pause for breaks. Through being vetted and sophisticated, the brands can accompany the event without detracting attention from it.
The delicacy and discretion here has proved advantageous as Wimbledon has maintained the same sponsors consecutively. The long-standing brand partnerships deliver benefits of being continuously seen by Wimbledon audiences year-on-year. For many, Robinson’s squash has a strong association with tennis during the summer months. This isn’t surprising as the brands have worked together for over 80 years.
Wimbledon is the traditional prestigious tennis event, with a thriving reputation. It has managed to evolve with popular culture to retain its place at the forefront of worldwide sporting activity. This evolution, along with its special values, maintains its place in the hearts of both UK people and others around the world. These elements will go unmatched at this summer’s games and beyond.
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