Most of you, whether sports fans or not, will probably have
heard about some of the traditions surrounding the world's
oldest and most prestigious tennis competition.
It has been played on grass at the All England Club in
Wimbledon since 1877 (the second of the two weeks of the
2017 tournament is just starting).
The players dress in white only (the rules governing the
size and positioning of logos on the clothing are strict),
the traditional snack consumed by the public is strawberries
and cream, and celebrities from all walks of the arts and
entertainment attend the matches. On the day of the finals
you will see members of the Royal Family taking their place
at the Center Court, and the players bow to the Royal Box
as they enter and leave the center court.
So much for the tradition. Now let's get down to business.
Unlike almost any other sporting event, you see no
sponsorship advertisements around the courts with two
exceptions : because of the high class prestige associated
with the tournament, the official timekeeper of the
tournament is Rolex, and their logo can be seen on every
The only other official partnership is with the supplier of
sports equipment Slazenger, whose balls are used
throughout the tournament (over 54,000 of them, actually).
They are used for nine games (not nine matches), then
changed, stored and sold to the public after the competition
as "slightly used".
Other businesses use the Wimbledon brand to promote
their own products and services. Below is the link to a
commercial for the UK's Tesco supermarket chain starring
two of Wimbledon's greatest rivals – Bjorn Borg (on the left),
five times Wimbledon champion from 1976-1980, and
John McEnroe, who won the title in 1981, 1983 and 1984 :
(Click the link or copy/paste to your browser to see the commercial).
Oh, and before you ask, the prize money this year totals
no less than US$17.7 million.
Time to start looking for that old tennis racket !