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Wimbledon: Opportunity for unusual marketing?

In sponsorship terms alone, the British sporting event racks up an estimated £45 million.

Novak Djokovic - brooding, divisive tennis great with fiery temper
Novak Djokovic has won 20 Grand Slams and is one of the best men's tennis players ever - Copyright AFP/File Greg WOOD
Novak Djokovic has won 20 Grand Slams and is one of the best men's tennis players ever - Copyright AFP/File Greg WOOD

As the 2022 Wimbledon Championship approaches, it is not only tennis players and the viewing public who are looking for opportunities. Indeed, Internet searches for ‘Wimbledon 2022 Championships’ have increased by 250 percent in the last 30 days alone.

In terms of who watches, the grounds host 42,000 customers and in terms of television viewership, figures are increasing year on year with the 2021 tournament hosted by BBC attracting a cumulative average audience of 15.5 million across 43.5 hours of coverage.

Yet others are also interested in tennis and advertisers see a major tournament like this as a vehicle to promote brand awareness. In sponsorship terms alone, the British sporting event racks up an estimated £45 million.

An analysis of marketing and advertising trends at Wimbledon has been undertaken by Solopress and the output has been provided to Digital Journal.

Perhaps the most well-known advertiser is a manufacturer of soft drinks. Robinson’s has been a partner of Wimbledon since 1934. Dating even further back, Slazenger has been the tournament’s official ball supplier since 1902, marking the longest partnership in sporting goods history.

In 2014, Robinson’s celebrated 80 years at Wimbledon with their stand-out campaign #PlayThirsty which encouraged families to stay active during the summer months with expert-led video tutorials.

While these campaigns have been long-lasting, others have perhaps been more memorable and inventive. For example, Haagen Dazs’ 2016 Lose Yourself campaign garnered 28,000 customer engagements, 15,000 photobooth participants and 2,000 sales.

As a second example, by encouraging users to interact with the outdoor campaign, Evian’s Ball Hunt campaign created a buzz, attracting over 2,000 new followers on Twitter with over 250 using the hashtag #EvianBallHunt and 365 mentions of the brand included in posts.

As part of their 2012 Wimbledon sponsorship, the official water sponsor of the tournament Evian attempted to motivate audiences with a welcome element of gamification. Fans were offered the chance to win Wimbledon 2012 tickets in a unique competition that involved hunting for a pink tennis ball across London. Fans were encouraged to dig for clues on the brand’s official Twitter and Facebook pages, where the Evian ‘ball boy’ would interact with them offering them to check-in at the required London-based location to be in with a chance of winning the grand prize.

The campaign was a prime example of how social media, gamification and giveaways can be successfully harnessed to provide a unique experience for fans and generate wide user engagement.

With the 2022 tournament just on the horizon and brands still looking to capture their target audience in new and unexpected ways, other campaigns could be set to emerge throughout June and July.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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