How Wimbledon is Changing Event Marketing with Social Video Campaigns


Wimbledon Court. By Me3154a (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

When you first think of Wimbledon—the world series of tennis—it can feel like a posh affair that’s only of interest to a narrow subset of athletic enthusiasts. Yet in 2014, according to Wimbledon, just the broadcast of the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles Final alone had a peak audience on the BBC of 10 million viewers. Its global potential audience access figures were in the region of one billion people. Building on the interest of television viewers and people attending the matches through building up their branded social media channels is a natural next step. In connection with this year’s Championships, the brand is working to find new ways to connect with fans. Snapchat and other social video platforms are at the front and center of those efforts.

Embracing Social Video

Wimbledon’s marketing team has been hard at work to change their image from a potentially stuffy one. They’re also focused on finding innovative ways to reach younger fans. In an interview, the franchise’s marketing director noted that it was important to invest now to avoid a situation where they found that their demographic was aging and they didn’t have connections to younger fans. A major initiative that has been underscoring this effort is embracing social media and social video. In recent years, the brand’s efforts have spanned everything from launching dedicated accounts on top social media networks; creating branded apps; and encouraging user generated content. They’re even using iBeacon technology to provide logistics and queuing advice to fans who arrive via public transportation. But some of their best integrated campaigns have focused on networks like Snapchat. For example, on Snapchat the brand has a multi-tiered strategy. They’ve used the application to share key highlights with fans. They’ve also encouraged attendees to take short Snaps and share them using the platform’s Geo-Filters feature. The end result was inspiring montages from different matches that integrated pieces from both the Wimbledon team and from fans.

Striking the Right Balance with User Generated Content

How do brands like Wimbledon balance exclusive broadcasting deals and social video? It’s one issue that they’re still trying to work out. For example, the marketing director was quoted during a journalistic briefing as suggesting that the Wimbledon team would use Periscope but questioned whether spectators should. According to one reporter there: “We will be using it in a targeted way to capture unique moments. But what is the right way for spectators to behave? If someone is holding up a tablet and blocking someone else from watching the action that’s not the right behavior for Wimbledon. It’s something we have to keep an eye on,” she said. Still, this year’s Wimbledon efforts on Snapchat clearly showed that they found creative and unique ways to incorporate user-generated content – and that it could be a bonus on top of formal footage, rather than actual competition.

What Brands Can Learn from Wimbledon

Embrace change: One of the most important takeaways from Wimbledon’s Snapchat efforts is the importance of embracing different platforms. As the sport seeks younger fans, meeting viewers where they are and providing engaging experiences is a critical piece of a workable strategy. These early campaigns on Snapchat show the right balance of creativity and clear brand messaging needed to succeed.

Incorporate user generated content: Platforms like Snapchat thrive on user generated content. It’s a huge part of the exposure and amplification process. By providing enticements that encourage fan participation and finding interesting ways to showcase fan content, brands can improve both brand exposure and follower engagement.

Make use of great moments: Wimbledon is a great example of finding a natural moment or big event in the real world that serves a group source of visual and video content. While not every brand has hours of high-intensity game-based footage, being aware of these opportunities for your own brand is an essential part of the process.

So what’s next? In the years ahead, it’s likely that sports franchises like Wimbledon and others such as the NBA and NFL are likely to embrace influencer marketing. Who are the biggest fans that are active on social media? What kind of unique content can these content creators provide? How can brands use individual influencer relationships to consolidate their positioning across a platform? Working with an experienced group like fullbottle can help brands realize the potential of influencer marketing on Snapchat and other platforms—from influencer selection to content distribution strategies. Are you interested in learning more about how influencer marketing campaigns can help your brand reach its goals? Contact fullbottle today to learn more about our services and solutions.

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