Monday, July 13, 2015

Wimbledon: Thumbing Its Nose To The World

Don't we simply love to watch the good-looking rich folks as they sit grumpily at those prestigious venues. They may appear grumpy, but in fact they a not. These people are the wealthy few whose images are a fixture in the minds of those who see Wimbledon as it desires to be: posh and upper-class. However, there are grumblings from the country's citizens who would like to see far more than what they're getting.
Truth is, British tennis players haven't performed very well in Wimbledon in years, and the country's people would like to see a change. It is indeed possible to attract more people to the sport. Tiger Wood did just that in the sport of golf, and the William's sisters changed the view of American tennis nearly 20 years ago. Certainly the British can do the same.  All you have to do is promote and advertise. Nike's sponsoring of young phenomenons such as Michael Jordan and Labron James has changed the NBA forever. So why not do the same in England? Well...I suppose that's not quite the British way.
Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates, a media and sports consultancy, estimates that Wimbledon takes in roughly $6 million a year from sponsorship by companies like IBM and Rolex.  Over the past several years Wimbledon has generated an annual profit of $42.2 million.  The U.S. Open tennis tournament, which has similar audience figures, earns $118 million from sponsors. Wimbledon does not deny that it can increase profits by simply advertising more; it simply prefers to keep its level of exclusivity by appealing chiefly to the middle-class and up.
So, what does this mean for tennis fans?  Well, that depends on your perspective.  Certainly, Wimbledon would continue to require athletes to wear lily-white outfits, Mercedes-Benz and Rolex will maintain their sponsorship for years to come, and apparently Britain will always be mediocre at best as it pertains to representing their country in tennis.  But if you weigh all of that with the visual of Bradley Cooper and other super-star media folks sitting in the front row of Wimbledon in their dashing suits, designer gowns and expensive sunshades, isn't this really nothing but a non-issue? Well...I suppose not.

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