Wimbledon is a unique property in the world of sporting sponsorship with the association generating real value for those partners who have attached their name to the least overtly commercial of the Grand Slam tournaments.
There are no hoardings, only the most subtle of branding opportunities and yet the cachet of being a partner is only accessible to those with the largest global budgets.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club which runs the Championships each year announced a raft of partnership extensions and one new brand partnership to take effect from next year on the eve of this years tournaments.
Each was with a brand that most global sports rights holders would almost sell their soul to have on board.
Evian as the Official Water and HSBC as the Official Bank have both extended their partnerships for another five years.
On the alcohol front, Stella Artois and Lanson have extended as the official beer and champagne partners respectively for a further three years.
American Express has also been unveiled as the new Official Payments Partner, effective from The Championships 2019 onwards.
“Our commercial strategy has always been founded on building long-term relationships that deliver mutual value to us and to our partners,” said Mick Desmond, Commercial and Media Director at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
“The investment we are making in our Master Plan, in our brand through In Pursuit of Greatness, in our production through Wimbledon Broadcast Services, and in our digital, content and audience strategies has been recognised by our partners as proof of our intent to continue to build on and grow our commercial product in support of these partnerships, and to ensure that we are working collaboratively with the interests of all of our brands at heart.”
Over the coming days we will look at the ways in which a number of these brands have been activating their partnerships and sharing valuable lessons for brands and rights holders.