Wimbledon Logo & Branding Is A Grand Slam Winner Wimbledon has a rich history. The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world was first held in 1877. It has been played on outdoor grass courts since the beginning and The Championships, Wimbledon –…
Wimbledon Logo & Branding Is A Grand Slam Winner
Wimbledon has a rich history. The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world was first held in 1877. It has been played on outdoor grass courts since the beginning and The Championships, Wimbledon – as it is formally known – is one of four Grand Slam tennis tournaments in the world. The other three, in case you were not too sure are the Australian, French and US Opens.
In addition to the rich history, tradition is also a huge part of the racket. It’s a tournament that usually runs two weeks in late June and early July and wraps up with the Ladies’ and Men’s Singles Finals on the final weekend. Other traditions connected to the event include Royal patronage and a strict dress code for the players. The “predominately in white” rule was introduced in 1963 before the “almost entirely in white rule” was brought in in 1995.
Food is also part of the tradition including strawberries and cream. Last year alone, 34,000 kilos of English strawberries (usually Grade 1 strawberries of the highest quality from Kent) and 10,000 litres of cream were consumed. Another interesting but possibly less obvious tradition is that the grass courts do not have any form of advertising around them. Visually this creates an interesting nostalgic nod to the long history of the tournament.
Although you may not realise this, but ball boys and ball girls are also a huge part of the tradition we know as Wimbledon. They actually serve a huge purpose in keeping games running smoothly.
Probably the most recent innovation to take place at the venue was the addition of a retractable roof over Centre Court. This was added in 2009 to reduce the loss of playing time resulting from inclement weather.
But there’s a lot more to Wimbledon than tennis, tradition and tech.
There are some very impressive branding connections as well. For example, Slazenger has been the official tennis ball supplier since 1902 (the longest partnership in sporting history). Robinsons has been the official drink supplier for well over 80 years. The list of official suppliers reads like a who’s who in well, the top of their game. Names like Rolex, Evian, Ralph Lauren and Jaguar are all intertwined with Wimbledon tighter than the strings of a tennis racket.
To add to this special relationship, officially recognised partner brands have gone the extra mile in some cases. Lanson designed Wimbledon-themed neoprene jackets which added value to both brands.
The role of the brands that provide add-on value to Wimbledon is rather basic if you look at it from the perspective of a marketer. If your Wimbledon-themed item takes flight, after a few volleys, then not only do you win with the special limited edition product but your existing brand gets some extra value when some of Wimbledon’s class rubs off and falls in your general area. But be warned – not just any brand can play this game. There is a very strategic marketing plan in place.
But what about the actual Wimbledon logo?
Well, from where I am sitting I see it as both classy and classic. You know that I identify iconic logos as those that are simple and easy to understand and comprehend but also represent the product they are being used for very well.
The round Wimbledon logo is one such example. It’s far from complicated and actually has some neat hidden, subliminal elements to it. Take the shape for example. Its round – like a tennis ball. There are 2 circles that form the main body of the logo. The outer one is in purple and contains the word marks “The Championships, Wimbledon.” The inner circle is green which hints at the grass courts and contains a pair of crossed tennis rackets in white. Below them is a white tennis ball. The crossed rackets symbolise that two opponents are competing head-to-head. The fact that they are white on the green background gives the dress code of white outfits on the green grass courts a respectful nod.
As I’ve stated, it’s not a complicated logo. It also looks contemporary and current as if it had been created within the last decade or so. The colour combination is pleasing to the eye and now that I’ve given up all the secrets about it, you’ll probably never look at it again without visualising grass.
Yes, I’m a huge fan of tennis and the word Wimbledon makes me think of strawberries, cream, chilled champagne and all the pomp and ceremony one would expect from such a traditional sporting event. Dare I say that even Super Bowl in the United States cannot compare to the overall draw of the action on Centre Court. When you consider that an estimated 1 billion people in 200 different countries of the world watch and enjoy The Championships, Wimbledon, you know that there is something in the air.
To add to my interest in the sport of tennis, I have written a blog highlighting 4 of the top men’s tennis players and their individual branding. From logo design to clothing, when top Grand Slam tennis players start to market themselves as a brand, you know it says something about the quality of players who get down to business on the grass courts at Wimbledon.
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