Virtual tennis lessons and free ice-cream for Andys: brands celebrate Wimbledon

Campaign serves up the best Championships-focused brand activity.

Four Winters: tennis-themed dessert is free for Andys
Four Winters: tennis-themed dessert is free for Andys

Wimbledon, the home of British tennis, is now upon us. 

The quintessentially British summertime tournament unites fans annually to watch the likes of Serena Williams and Roger Federer grace the pitch, while enjoying other Wimbledon traditions. In 2018, the BBC had a cumulative audience reach of 26 million for the championship, while those watching it court side consumed about 300,000 glasses of Pimms.

The fortnight of tennis, which kicked off on yesterday (1 July), invites brands to serve Wimbledon-focused campaigns and activations. Campaign has rounded up the best of them.

Do more than pour

The classic duo, strawberries and cream, is a firm favourite among tennis viewers. So much so that Wimbledon serves more than 23 tonnes of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream every year.

In an attempt to inspire creativity in the kitchen, cream brand Elmlea has teamed up with radio DJ Roman Kemp, Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and tennis matriarch Judy Murray to call on Brits to #DoMoreThanPour.

The trio have each whipped up a recipe as part of a video series for the campaign, with viewers encouraged to vote for their favourite.

Taking fans back in time

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which runs the tournament, has been transporting fans back in time with #Jointhestory.

The integrated campaign kicked off with a 60-second film by McCann London, "The story continues", which highlights landmark moments from Wimbledon's relationship with world news, such as Billie Jean King’s role in leading the fight for equality in tennis and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Meanwhile, its experiential activity places fans at the heart of the 1980 championships with a three-night event that includes an audiovisual show focused on the men’s final of that year, featuring live actors. 

As part of the campaign, the AELTC has also created a podcast mini-series that looks back at the cultural relevance of Wimbledon champions to world events, such as Andy Murray winning in 2016, the year of the European Union referendum. It was produced by Livewire Sport.

Serve that!

Didn’t get your hands on tickets? Fear not, Jaguar Land Rover is screening the matches with a pop-up at Westfield London.

The open-to-the-public fan zone allows visitors to sit back and relax on deck chairs and bean bags to watch the games live on a big screen.

In-between sets, fans can head inside a 360-degree booth to test out the Jaguar Ace Pace Wimbledon Edition app (which measures the effectiveness of the user’s serve) and share shots taken on social media. The person with the most effective serve, each day, will win a pair of Wimbledon tickets.

Tennis balls demonstrate lives lost to dirty water

As well as marketing desserts and the sport itself, it's refreshing to see brands using the occasion to inspire change.

WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation teamed up to create a tennis ball installation to highlight the shockingly high number of lives lost due to dirty water. 

The installation uses 2,631 balls to form a fountain structure, with each ball representing "a life that could have been saved by having clean water and sanitation".

Virtual tennis lesson with Andy Murray

American Express is hosting a fan experience during the tournament complete with hammocks, a postal service for visitors to post custom postcards and a virtual-reality challenge where fans can practise their tennis skills with tennis champion (and brand ambassador) Andy Murray.

Amex cardholders will have a number of exclusive benefits, from a members' lounge where cocktails will be available to in-ear radios featuring a live broadcast of Centre Court, as well as access to a limited number of reserved Centre Court returns tickets for purchase. 

If your name is Andy, you can get free ice-cream 

In celebration of Andy Murray’s tennis comeback, Mazzetti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Four Winters ice-cream parlour are serving up free ice-cream to his namesakes.

The Instagram-worthy dessert, dubbed "Break the serve", consists of an edible chocolate tennis ball filled with strawberries and cream-flavoured ice-cream, topped with a balsamic vinegar and caramel sauce along with fresh strawberries.

It comes equipped with a racquet to encourage tasters to smash into the chocolate shell to eat the core. 

Those who share the same first name as Murray can claim the tasty prize (which is capped at one serving per day, per person) at Four Winters on Gloucester Road.

The perfect serve

As the official beer partner of the Championships, Stella Artois has launched a virtual restaurant with Twisted London, exclusively via Uber Eats.

It forms part of the brand’s summer campaign, which includes cinema, TV and out-of-home activity, to encourage Brits to remove distractions and make time for the things they really enjoy.

The "Perfect serve" restaurant will offer a limited-edition menu designed to be enjoyed with a chalice of the lager and will be available until 14 July. 

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