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The Experience 013: A bucket list item … check!
Wimbledon: A Showcase of Tennis and Experience excellence
“Pressure is a privilege.”
~Billie Jean King
I grew up in a tennis family. My paternal grandmother was a national champion, my sister and I held our first rackets at three, and my dad, at 83 still plays tennis three times a week. To say we love the sport might be a bit of an understatement.
I watch all the slams – Aussie Open, The French, the US Open, and of course. Wimbledon, and many of the feeder tournies. During those weeks of slam play, my second screen doesn’t offer much other than live feeds, updates, highlights, and score tracking of these tournaments. Everything about the game intrigues me, and it doesn’t matter what match is happening, I’ll watch them all – versus my dad who records and then speed watches… don’t EVEN get me going on that!
I’ve been fortunate to be able to see so many of the top players at the National Bank Open and have even been to the US Open. But my dream has always been to go to Wimbledon. That dream came true last week. And it did not disappoint.
Through a content and marketing lens
Wimbledon, the oldest and arguably the most prestigious tennis tournament, is not just about the on-court battles between tennis titans.
The tournament has also mastered the art of marketing and experience making, while fighting the forces of ambush marketing, creating a brand that resonates with fans worldwide. Everywhere you go on the perfectly manicured and spotless grounds you are reminded of the hallowed tournament’s tradition and prestige. The tournament's rich history, dating back to 1877, is a clearly a source of pride for Wimbledon. From the iconic grass courts to the strict dress code and the traditional strawberries and cream – which were delicious, as were the G&Ts – Wimbledon showcases itself as the epitome of elegance and excellence.
There is an air of exclusivity and limited availability. From limiting ticket access to visible but inaccessible areas on the grounds, even when you get through the gates you feel like you want more … unless of course, you are a personal friend of Kate or William, then you’ve got it made. This exclusivity has become part of Wimbledon's allure.
Partnering with IBM, Roles, Pimm’s, and other exclusive brands, Wimbledon has capitalized on the power of the internet and social media to connect with fans across the globe. They share live updates, behind-the-scenes content, and exclusive interviews, I was there and still engaged with the tournament’s app and social channels to keep up with what was happening, and I saw many others doing the same. There is definitely a sense of community amongst the diehards.
Wimbledon has made conscious efforts to promote eco-friendly practices. From implementing reusable cups, which patrons pay for and then either can be kept as a memento (which I did), returned for the deposit fee, or placed in a donation box where the deposit fee is matched by Wimbledon and a few partners and donated to charity. Brilliant.
From queuing up and waiting four hours to get tickets, to the matches, snacks, and having strawberries and cream on Henman Hill the entire day was everything I thought it would be. Now I just have to figure out how to get an invite to the Royal Box …if anyone can make an introduction to the Waleses, please let me know.
Groovy things we’re reading
Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes by Billie Jean King.
Billie Jean King founded the WTA, won multiple slams and has arguably done more for equity in sport then anyone else. The book covers stories from her childhood and professional career.
The Player by Boris Becker
Becker is bit like Pimm’s, you either love him or hate him but this books gives a good detail of his career and as well as some dirt behind his tax evasion scandal, his illegitimate daughter, his painful divorce as well as been the youngest ever Wimbledon champ.
The Inner Game Of Tennis by Timothy JM Gallwey
Not just for tennis players, or even athletes, this book talks to the mental and psychological aspects of tennis (or any other sport, or business) and how they can have a significant impact on an individual. Tennis makes a great analogy for life and what it can throw at you.i
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