I was lucky enough to spend Thursday afternoon and early evening in a prime seat on No 1 Court at Wimbledon. This was my first visit to SW19 after a lifetime of watching (and sometimes listening on the radio parked up on a road in the middle of the Highlands) tennis at its best.
I was unprepared for the sheer purity of branding. I doubt there is a commercial sporting fixture anywhere else in the world where the powers that be maintain such a lock on messaging – even to the point where the Umpire asked Andy Murray to cease his flashing of the Highland Spring water bottle label (Murray’s sponsor NOT Wimbledon’s !).
And for those brands who make it – it’s a magical environment. The fact that I can list them: Rolex, IBM, Robinson’s, Slazenger and whatever clothing brands (discrete as per the rules) the players are wearing – says it all.
All too often brands compromise and share their equity with a clutter of also rans ill fitted to the occasion but able to pay their way onto a hoarding. The result being that every brand is drowned out in a cacophony of messaging.
Exclusivity may come at a price but the benefits are quite clear.