Wimbledon 2012: Sponsorship Activation

By Andreas Plastiras. Check out his blog: Snap-Shot Sport

I was fortunate enough to get hold of a ticket to Court 3 at the All England Championships for the middle Saturday of the event. The day comprised beautiful weather, a stunning view of the action and I even witnessed history, as Yaroslava Shvedova won the first set of her match against Sara Errani in just 16 minutes and without dropping a point – a first for the WTA.

I also used my time at Wimbledon to keep a watchful eye over the sponsor activity both at the event, and around the surrounding area (Images at the bottom of the page)…

At the Event:

– On court branding, as per usual was seen from Slazenger (balls), IBM (service speed boards), Rolex (above scoreboard), Robinsons (bottles places strategically below umpire chair), Evian (water bottles provided to players) and Ralph Lauren (umpire, line judges and ball kids uniforms.)

IBM and HSBC booths located alongside one another near to Centre Court, and whilst the former raised awareness of the technologies it uses to generate statistical match analysis, the latter took the opportunity to enable its customers to gain a voucher offering free strawberries and cream.

Sony also acquired its own booth whereby fans could sample its 3D television technology. Upon entering, visitors were handed a leaflet that invited them to successfully guess the correct number of games that will be played in the men’s final (which will be shown in 3D at various cinemas) to stand a chance of winning a 40” Bravia television.

– As the official champagne of the championships, Lanson handed out leaflets that entitled spectators to a a £5 discount off of its products, whilst a competition enabled entrants to win a case of its new White Label champagne.

– The bright pink coloured Evian café included a large image of ambassador Maria Sharapova (who recently signed an extension to her deal with Evian) and gave people a chance to enjoy a quiet drink ahead of a busy day’s play

Digital:

– The stand out digital activity has been seen from Evian, where its #evianballhunt campaign gave consumers the chance to win VIP tickets to Wimbledon. Participants were given clues via Facebook and Twitter (@Evian_UK) as to the whereabouts of an Evian ball boy, and were asked to check in upon finding his location to stand a chance of winning.

– Official timekeeper Rolex invited visitors to its global YouTube channel where classic Wimbledon moments could be relived, whilst long-term ambassador Roger Federer also featured in short video interview as part of its “Rolex Rendezvous” series.

Slazenger launched a game via a Facebook app that required competitors to play a game of “keepy uppy” and score as many points as possible in a set period of time. Scores could be shared on Facebook.

Hertz launched a video diaries series via the “Live @ Wimbledon” tab accessible on both the official Wimbledon website and accompanying mobile app. Content consisted of player interviews whilst en-route to the grounds – official automotive partner of the French Open, Peugeot also did something similar earlier this year as part of its “Road to Roland Garros” series.

IBM has been raising awareness of its services through the launch of a video uploaded to its YouTube channel showcasing its new cloud technology. Along with the informative video, the brand is responsible for the official mobile app of the championships. A new feature on both the official Wimbledon website and the mobile app is the “Live @ Wimbledon” tab, which enables users to drop in at matches during key points.

Other Prominent Signage/Messaging:

– Upon walking through Wimbledon Village on my way down to the courts, I couldn’t help but notice prominent Evian branding, primarily through a number of flags that had been placed above shops around the village featuring the Wimbledon logo.

– Meanwhile, logistics company and ATP partner FedEx continued to use its “Live to Deliver” strapline on the sides of busses in the local area to promote its various business offerings

Hertz branding was visible on the sides of taxi’s transporting visitors to and from the grounds, outlining that is “driving the championships.”

– Upon exiting Wimbledon station visitors were greeted by an M&S display promoting its half price strawberries and cream offer. Platform ads could also be seen.

– Web domain site Go Daddy.com had acquired a large outdoor space opposite Wimbledon station and used tennis imagery and the tag line “take advantage” to promote its services (the brand has become well known in the US for its edgy and sexy Superbowl commercials.)

– ATP partner Compeed sent its “hit squad” to the surrounding area to issue free samples of its blister protection pads to spectators, demonstrating an understanding of the long distance walking required for those queuing for tickets.

NB Compeed ambassador and women’s world number one Caroline Wozniacki has fronted much of the brand’s recent advertising including this Pan-European TV commercial.

All in all, a cracking day out, and from my experience of the Wimbledon championships 2012, it seems clear that OOH has been a key part of the strategies of ambush advertisers, whilst official sponsors have in the main sought to put smiles on the faces of spectators by making the day out as stress free and enjoyable as possible, whilst also throwing in the odd competition or two…

All pics by Andreas, except Sam Stosur’s pic (source Sam Stosur Official Facebook)

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