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Wimbledon Marketing Strategies Evaluation

Info: 4511 words (18 pages) Dissertation
Published: 26th Jan 2022

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Tagged: MarketingSports

Table of Contents

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The Value Cycle



The Brand

Spectators and segmentation of market



Athlete endorsments

Ambush marketing














APPENDIX 5 - pringles

APPENDIX 6 - prices



This report will explore and assess the marketing strategies of the tennis event, Wimbledon, specifically 2017 event. Wimbledon is a considerable tennis event taking place every year in London, England. The report will be looking critically at the value cycle and how the event follows, and markets to spectators.

The Value Cycle

When critically analysing a marketing event it is important to use a model of reference, the value cycle is a simple model which considers the consumers values, creating these values, communicating them and delivering them to the consumer (Beech, 2007). This is done in a cycle like movement connecting the main elements the business and the consumer, and is repeated every time come new marketing opportunities (see appendix 1).


Wimbledon is an important tennis competition held in London, every year since 1877 and the first ladies’ championships since 1884 (Barrett, 2001). Not only has the game of tennis changed over the years but so has the championship competition, with it moving venues in the 1920s, as well as royalty playing in 1926. Nearly 500,000 people will attend the event over a fortnight, with 1 million more watching live on television, in over 200 countries (Barrett, 2001). This leaves the marketing industry wide open, with Wimbledon no longer being just about tennis, but just as much as food and drink too. The event consists of approximately 608 players take part in the championships over the course of a fortnight, competition in the male and female singles, doubles and the mixed doubles (“How Many Players Compete At Wimbledon?,” 2014). Competitors come from all over the world, and even royalty attends the event to watch. In the male singles and doubles the scoring is best of 5 sets, all other events are best of 3 sets. To win the player must have a two- game lead. All events are a single-elimination event, meaning that those who win then progress onto the next round. However, the male, double males and ladies’ doubles are all round robin competitions.


The Brand

Wimbledon itself has over the course of 125 years become a brand and is no longer just seen as a tennis event. If asking anyone what comes to mind when thinking of Wimbledon an answer given might be strawberries and cream and pimms just as much as tennis (Ralley, 2017). The event itself is different than many tennis tournaments, with royalty attending and sell outs every year, people selling and paying immense amounts for tickets (Mailonline, 2017). The logo is well known around the world, with it green and purple colours it is instantly recognisable, and the two racquets symbolising the two opposition players on the court (see Appendix 2). The logo is used on all documents, websites, and all over the venue, furthermore, it is used in all publications of the All England Club- where the championship began (“Wimbledon Logo – Wimbledon Championship Logo, Wimbledon Tournament Logo,” n.d.).  This competition brings together the best of tennis, with the final usually being played by athletes of big names, those who visit Wimbledon expect high quality tennis, the atmosphere and tension of close games, as well as the food and drink. Players compete for a cash prize as well as the title of winning Wimbledon.

Spectators and segmentation

What is noticeable about the spectators at Wimbledon is that they all seem to be better well-dressed than other sporting events, particularly football. There is also a balance in gender of spectators, there seems to be just as equally female (52%) as they are male (48%) (Crook, n.d.), which is difficult for a sporting event to appeal to. This may be due to the equality the genders get in prize money as well as media time, Wimbledon is one of the events in which female sport gets the most air time.

The behaviour of Wimbledon fans is usually of high standard, obeying strict rules as spectators, to film or engage in any behaviour that may put off the player. However, there are times where this happens and is usually frowned upon by other spectators. Eyres, 2013 writes an article that mentions spectators blatantly ignoring rules and shouting athlete’s names as another serve. He questions whether fans at any point will have respect for the rules, but believes that spectators no longer believe in politeness for the enjoyment of the sport. This is one of the few tennis events this happens, perhaps it is due to wanting to see the success of the athlete they are supporting.

When thinking about Wimbledon 2017, it is important to consider who the spectators might be. With an equal split in gender, and nearly 500,000 attending the event, with nearly 200 more watching on live television, all from over nearly 200 countries (“Facts and Figures / FAQ,” 2017). The event appeals to many, those who follow tennis, those who don’t, governing bodies, media and of course sponsorship. These add to the size and significance of the championship. As the spectators’ section is so large and diverse is important the brand and venue know each year who they are appealing too. Beech, 2007 notes the market must be segmented to be successful, and suggests a three-stage model (see appendix 3). The segmentation model is viewed as a logical way of developing the marketing concept, this place the consumer of the product at the centre of the marketing strategy and decision making (Wind and Cardozo, 19974). Using the model, Wimbledon can analytically assess the marketing categories for the championship. Players entered at the championships come from all over the world, with the US entering the most players at 116, and several countries including Puerto Rico only entering 1 (“Country Leaderboard – The Championships, Wimbledon 2017 – Official Site by IBM,” n.d.).  It is thus that the championship attracts a wide demographic of spectators traveling from all over the world to witness Wimbledon in person.

Creating Values


As Wimbledon is such an immense event worldwide, the logo makes an impact on the fans, and is empowering to the brand. This makes the event have a greater impact on those who wish to sponsor it. For a company to use a brands logo they must go through a pathway known as Brand to Licencing (Bauer et al., 2005). For example, Jaguar use Wimbledon’s well known logo- as well as Andy Murry- to market their cars (see appendix 4) in front of the all England tennis club. Furthermore, the company gave several biometric cuffs to a select number of spectators’, the idea was to match the excitement one gets from watching an important competition to the excitement of driving. Involving the spectators may help the company in getting its name out there, furthermore, this may benefit both the brand and the company as jaguar can promote the championship to many and can get promotion from their sponsorship.

Sponsoring companies tend to associate themselves with organisations or events that share similar values to them. This creates a stronger association with both the brand and the event by the consumer, thus leading to stronger promotion and a better consumer understanding (Batty et al., 2016). One of the longest sponsorships the championship has is the company Slazenger, who have been the official ball supplier of Wimbledon since 1902. This partnership has lasted so long due to their similar values, the championship ensures that many tennis players buy Slazenger tennis balls, it is one of the main sponsors that come to mind if asking anyone about the sponsors of Wimbledon. These are a good fit as the company’s values are similar- performance, style and elegance.

Other official sponsors of the championship include; Robinsons (1935), Ralph Lauren (2006), Evian (2008), Stella Artois(2014) (“Official Suppliers,” n.d.). These brands are all good fits as they are seen as high end and the best in what they do.

Sponsorship rivalry

The championship is sponsored by many different companies, some seem to be rival companies. Although Robinsons is the official soft drink and Evian is the official water, the companies are both competing as being a non-alcoholic drink to be associated with the championships. Furthermore, there is the competition between Stella Artois and Pimms. All these brands compete against one another to be the most associated with Wimbledon.

Athlete endorsements

Although Ralph Lauren was seen to be the official outfitter of Wimbledon, it classes with individual athletes and their sponsors. The companies provide the uniform for the umpire and ball boys/girls, however, most athletes sport their own companies clothing, for example Andy Murry wore under armour (Briggs, 2014), and Djokovic wore Fila.

Although the sponsor of the event gets coverage in outfitting the officials’, most consumers and spectators care typically about the athletes and what they wear, taking the highlight away from the official outfitters of Wimbledon.

Ambush Marketing

Ambush marketing refers to a conscious effort made by an organisation to indirectly associate themselves with an event, or brand (Sandler and Shani, 1998). Wimbledon, like many major event has been exposed to ambush marketing as it can be very difficult to eradicate.

This is again mostly down to the use of athlete sponsorship, again looking at Andy Murray as an example, most people associate him with the under-armour, it is the same for many of the athletes they use their own sponsors rather than the official outfitters of the event.

Although Wimbledon does have an official ice cream sponsor, they have very little food sponsors. Pringles, ambushed Wimbledon championship back in 2009, they handed out free tubes of Pringles, with the words “these are not tennis balls” printed on them ( see appendix 5), they also had look-a-like of tennis legends to hand them out. This gave them association with the championships without having to pay any money and directly mentioning the event (Thorley, 2009). This act gained them coverage on the radio and in newspaper, as many thought it a well thought and well executed plan. Giving them the coverage as well as the indirect association with Wimbledon.

The championship has strict rules in place to try and prevent ambush marketing, they attempt to have the grounds and courts somewhat free of commercial sponsorship and branding, it suggests why the event has a lack of advertising on grounds (“Ambush Marketing,” n.d.).

Although this is attempted people still try to ambush the event by bringing in their own branded food, and clothing. Though the championship doesn’t mind this the employ security guards to use their judgment and prevent it if they believe it may be ambush marketing.


A huge amount of merchandise is sold each year at the championships. Wimbledon, has its own official retail store, which includes selling Ralph Lauren Products associated with the event. The store and online store (“The Official Wimbledon Online Tennis Shop | Fashion | Towels & Equipment | Bags & Accessories | Books & DVDs | Gifts & Souvenirs | Polo Ralph Lauren,” n.d.) is responsible for selling official merchandise are managed by IMG Ltd. Wimbledon began selling in China in 2001, with one store in 2007 attracting nearly 14,000 people (Meikle and Addley, 2008).

Although it is difficult to get a figure of the total made in merchandise, in 2006 there were almost 350,000 pairs of branded shoes bought alone in japan.

Communicating Values


Wimbledon is an event that Is held in the same location annually, where the centre court is for tournament use only. The facilities of Wimbledon and the All England lawn club are for the use of members only, however this makes the event more exciting as when the championship comes around people get access to an area in which they are not allowed to go daily.

The coverage of the event is massive, particularly in the UK with a full 90-year coverage 1927-2017. The event is covered both on television as well as radio (“BBC – Wimbledon 2017 – Media Centre,” n.d.). Furthermore, then event is now also covered live on Euro sport, this pay broadcaster was one of the first allowed to broadcast Wimbledon live (Plunkett and Conlan, 2016), this also allows live coverage to those watching the event out with the UK.

The event is covered extensively on the BBC with pretty much every game being aired or broadcasted on the radio. Furthermore, all footage is then archived by the event so can been seen or re-watched over time.

Wimbledon also shows the matches on a large screen, in which a lot of spectators watch on what is informally known as the Hill. This provides the spectators with the atmosphere of Wimbledon and with being on the grounds, which is almost as good as sitting in the stand watching the matches. This area becomes particularly popular come the semi-finals and finals of the championship.


In the coverage of the event, Wimbledon had several objectives that it wanted to achieve, the mass coverage of the event is something that would help them to obtain these objectives.

  • Maintain the Championships as the premier tennis tournament in the world and on grass.
  • Strengthen and enhance Wimbledon as a world class sporting venue of national and international significance.
  • Conserve Wimbledon’s unique and special heritage (“Wimbledon_Master_Plan-Prospectus-April2013.pdf,” n.d.).

To achieve the second objective, it is highly important for the coverage of the event. In previous years to 2016 the event was only covered by the BBC this made it highly difficult for those out with Britain to watch the event live. Thus, by introducing the euro sport channels in 2016 it helped to extend the coverage of the event. By doing this it helps to strengthen Wimbledon as an event of both national and international significance, because of this the event reached nearly 1 billion people (Batty et al., 2016).


To obtain tickets for the substantial event there are 3 main ways to do so. One is through the public ballot this was introduced in 1924, people put application forms in, and there is a possibility they are drawn to watch a match at Wimbledon, although they cannot choose the day or match, this ballot happens both in the UK and Overseas, subscribing to the large demographic of spectators and consumers of the event.

Furthermore, a person may buy their ticket online at ticketmaster, this allows them to choose their event and dates. These tickets are only available the day before and sell out quickly, furthermore, the price can range anywhere from £20 to £190 (see appendix 6).  Wimbledon remains one of the few large-scale events in the UK in which people may buy their tickets on the day at the door, however, in doing this it does not grantee a ticket or place.

Furthermore, tickets get allocated to school’s tennis, British tennis and overseas tennis to distribute, they can do so in a raffle or competition (“Prices & Essential Information,” n.d.). As well as a few other special ways to get tickets.

Delivering values

In 2016 the final males match brought an approximate 13 million viewers (Plunkett, 2016), giving the event mass coverage in over 200 countries, giving the event both huge national and international coverage.


Social media has become extensive in the modern world. Although mobile phones are encouraged to be off If watching a match event, the championship itself has its own Facebook, twitter and even snapchat to cover the event.

On these platforms, the event posts updates on matches and even highlight videos, as well as this they provide a behind the scene footage of the event. These also provide an easy link between the event itself and the official sponsors of it.

With social media supporters could show their support for the event and even their favourite athlete, with over 4,000,000 followers on facebook the event the allows these people to connect over their admiration for the event and athletes. Thus, making the event more successful in the modern world (Mcmullan, 2016).


Taking place annually since 1877, Wimbledon is one of the most prestigious event in tennis, and one of the longest running.  The event itself embraces tradition, old and new, each year. The championship values civility both from its players and spectators, making it a sport to enjoy, and not one in which a fight will emerge. There are many traditions followed and upheld in the event (Millar, 2017).

With the event being held in the same area yearly, this give it a sense of consistency, people know where it is, they know that strawberries and cream will be the food highlight. With the venue being member exclusive the rest of the year it gives people the chance to have a day in a place they wouldn’t normal visit, adding to the excitement.

Throughout the 125 years of Wimbledon the event has established itself as a large national and international championship, to win Wimbledon is a huge honour. Many tennis players aspire to make it to Wimbledon over going to the Olympics.

Therefore, Wimbledon has managed to create a lasting legacy, including the traditions both old and new, the event has change with the times and continues to attract a wide variety of spectators to the event, including those who would not usually watch tennis.


Wimbledon is a successful event geld in the UK yearly, with tickets being a sell out almost every year. This report shows some of the key marketing strategies of the event. Successful coverage of the event on BBC and Euro Sport allow the event to remain a huge success for those who are not able to visit the event in person. The use of social media by the event, allows it to move forward with the time, allowing people to stay updated and in the loop when unable to watch a match. Wimbledon considers the main points of the value cycle and implements them into their marketing, making them a successful event regularly, providing what the consumer wants. Although little research is done in this area, it is suggested that Wimbledon will have a continued legacy on the UK, and the event is going to run for many more years yet.


Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

Appendix 5

Appendix 6

DAY 1 MONDAY 3 JULY £56 £45 £41 £41 £25
DAY 2 TUESDAY 4 JULY £56 £45 £41 £41 £25
DAY 3 WEDNESDAY 5 JULY £73 £57 £49 £49 £25
DAY 4 THURSDAY 6 JULY £73 £57 £49 £49 £25
DAY 5 FRIDAY 7 JULY £95 £74 £62 £62 £25
DAY 6 SATURDAY 8 JULY £95 £74 £62 £62 £25
DAY 7 MONDAY 10 JULY £112 £82 £68 £68 £25
DAY 8 TUESDAY 11 JULY £112 £82 £42 £20
DAY 9 WEDNESDAY 12 JULY £135 £98 £38 £20
DAY 10 THURSDAY 13 JULY £135 £58 £20
DAY 11 FRIDAY 14 JULY £155 £37 £15
DAY 12 SATURDAY 15 JULY £155 £34 £15
DAY 13 SUNDAY 16 JULY £190 £29 £8


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