Robinsons, Slazenger and Other Wimbledon Partners
Here’s a fun exercise in brand-spotting: at Wimbledon 2015, see how many logos or advertisements you can spot.
Aside from select products supplied by Wimbledon’s official suppliers you are unlikely to find any. Despite being one the world’s most popular events, Wimbledon takes a distinctly ‘less is more’ approach to advertising.
It’s not by accident but by design; since its early years Wimbledon has avoided the large-scale branding and advertising seen at other tournaments and instead focused on keeping things neat, simple and all about tennis.
In a Newsweek article, AELTC club chairman Philip Brook explained the policy: “We are successful precisely because we don’t have signage. It enhances the uniqueness of the tournament and attracts the kind of partners … who share our vision.”
Wimbledon’s selective, refined commercial strategy is part of its character. But who are Wimbledon’s partners and why?
Wimbledon’s Official Suppliers
Wimbledon doesn’t have sponsors but Official Suppliers. These companies provide a selection of essential products and services to The Championships, often as part of business relationships dating back over 70 years.
The Official Suppliers include luxury wristwatch manufacturers, beverage companies, sporting goods providers and more
- Robinsons, which is officially known and frequently marketed as the official still soft drink of Wimbledon.
- Rolex, which has been the official timekeeper of Wimbledon since 1978 and continues to be closely associated with The Championships.
- Evian, which is known as the Official Water of the Championships and was the most popular sponsor of The Championships in 2013.
- Slazenger, which has supplied tennis balls to The Championships since 1902 and has, at 113 years, the longest partnership in sports history.
- IBM, which provides computer equipment and calculates match statistics for The Championships.
- Stella Artois is now the official beer of Wimbledon, celebrating this fact with their ‘World’s Greatest Events’ campaign.
The rest of Wimbledon’s suppliers can be found here, on the Official Suppliers page of the Wimbledon website.
Loyal partnerships, limited exposure
Wimbledon is a unique sporting event for several reasons, one such reason is its discreet use of billboards and branding. Even the event’s headline partners barely appear in the stands, grounds or anywhere during the tournament.
There’s a Rolex logo on the clock and a Slazenger logo on each of the tennis balls, but no signage, no obvious branding and no mention of sponsors beyond the absolutely necessary.
With so little exposure, why are brands so eager to become Official Suppliers for The Championships?
Wimbledon’s partnerships are some of the longest-lasting and loyal in the world of sport and for good reason. The event’s prestige and popularity mean that even if a sponsor’s logo isn’t displayed, they still benefit from the association.
From social media to conversations at home or in the stands, Wimbledon’s Official Suppliers are noticed – and mentioned – by the millions of people that tune in and attend The Championships live every year.
It’s that exposure and popularity that’s made Wimbledon part of some of the sports world’s most successful partnerships. From 100+ years with Slazenger to more than 35 years with Rolex, Wimbledon’s sponsors are some of the world’s most loyal.
IBM & Rolex only visible #Wimbledon sponsors, with logos on the video board & clock. Seems event intends to keep things traditional
— Ethan Saporito (@Saporitoe) July 3, 2013
See if you can spot Wimbledon’s sponsors in action
When you tune in to watch Wimbledon 2015 – or, if you’re attending, when you take your seat, try that brand-spotting exercise again. Although it’s extremely difficult to see Wimbledon’s sponsors in action, they’re always there.
From supplying tennis balls to managing the event’s timekeeping and statistics, the Official Suppliers of Wimbledon have many of the most important roles of the entire event.