Market in the Moment for PR Success: Wimbledon
It’s time to stock up on the Pimm’s, and strawberries and cream, as Wimbledon is just around the corner.
Over the two week tennis tournament, up to 500,000 people will descend on the grounds of the All England Club in south west London and tens of millions will be watching around the world.
It’s hard to imagine a sporting event more quintessentially British than Wimbledon. So if you’re going to tie your brand to a summer event, the world’s most famous tennis tournament is a great choice. The 140 years of tradition and celebrity interest mean there’s a well-established and wide range of options to fit your brand around.
But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your brand seen. By thinking outside the box and using the traditions of the event as a hook, you can enjoy bags of coverage. Here are a few of our favourite campaigns from the last few years:
In 2015, iconic car maker Jaguar arranged a PR stunt, to celebrate the start of its official sponsorship of Wimbledon, by surprising two fans with a ride to SW19 in their sports saloon model, the Jaguar XE.
As part of Jaguar’s #FeelWimbledon campaign, two lucky Londoners, who won VIP tickets to the quarter finals in a Jaguar competition, were chauffeured to the event. What they didn’t know, however, was that the driver was none other than former American tennis champion John McEnroe.
Jaguar fitted biometric bands to the winners’ wrists and watched as their pulses shot up 60% to 93bpm when the tennis star took the wheel.
You can see the memorable PR stunt in this video, which was filmed on hidden cameras onboard. It was viewed over 30,000 times and the stunt made it into sports blogs and national papers as a feel-good story.
In a very clever PR stunt, bathroom retailer Bathstore created ‘the ultimate toilet experience’, a Wimbledon-themed portaloo on wheels dubbed the ‘QLoo’. The QLoo circulated the tournament’s queue, and was manned by ball boys and girls who held people’s spaces in the queue while they used it.
As well as being fully equipped with an AstroTurf interior and a radio which streamed live match commentary, the toilet was also scented with a strawberries and cream room fragrance to add to the experience.
Those wishing to use it were asked to tweet @bathstore using #QLoo and the team made their way to people in the queue.
The campaign caused quite a stir, was great for brand visibility and achieved coverage in the national press.
Two years ago, lager brand Stella Artois brought something new to Wimbledon by taking inspiration from the legendary hawk Rufus, who helps keep pigeons away from Wimbledon’s courts.
With the use of Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and 360° technology, Stella created an immersive ‘Perfect Flight’ virtual reality app, which gave tennis enthusiasts the chance to admire Wimbledon and the London skyline in a 360-degree video from above the courts.
Using the app, which was available on iTunes and Google Play Store, users could fly like Rufus from the comfort of their living room while admiring Wimbledon’s iconic sights.
The VR kit was up for grabs on Stella Artois’s Twitter page. In order to win it, the brand asked people to retweet their message. The clever campaign got Stella over 2,000 retweets and a host of new fans to boot.
Keep an eye on the calendar
Keeping an eye on the calendar and tying your marketing and PR into current events such as Wimbledon fortnight can be a fast and easy way to generate coverage for your business.