KHWS Blog: New apps please: Wimbledon ups its game

New apps please: Wimbledon ups its game


Wimbledon’s digital development in 2017

Renowned for its English heritage, the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament repeatedly entices a mass audience of Brits during the heat of early July. With white shorts, grass courts and unlimited strawberry assorts, the grand slam event has been continually distinct over the years due to its unique and quintessential British traditions. However, it is arguable that this approach has hindered the sporting event when attempting to attract an international audience. This year, Wimbledon have digitally expanded with intentions of increasing global reach and appeal – something you may not have expected from such a traditional brand.

Brand new digital tactics…

Wimbledon have attempted to attract a global audience with a new digital strategy. Digitally, Wimbledon has served its audience with a variety of new features. Previously Wimbledon’s audience was split between 93% on their site and just 7% on their app, but this year users of the Wimbledon app have been given the opportunity to upload photos to a Snapchat-style stream named “create your own story”. This personal and interactive approach, which has proved popular across various social media platforms, has encouraged more consumer interaction and engagement than ever before.

For the first time ever, Wimbledon have worked with Apple TV on an app which includes both live matches and radio coverage of the entire tournament. In 2016, Wimbledon’s radio listeners increased by two million – emphasising the demand for a streaming App that is convenient to the modern consumer. Alex Willis, Head of Communications at Wimbledon explained: “We realised we didn’t want to get ten years down the line when people don’t watch TV anymore and therefore nobody is interacting or watching Wimbledon. We have to bring in the younger demographic now so we don’t have a problem further down the line.” Not only will this partnership with Apple TV encourage viewing from a larger audience due to convenience, but the association with the Apple brand will increase global awareness of the event.

Subsequently, to draw in a Chinese audience, Wimbledon have used Chinese instant messaging mobile application WeChat. With over 938 million active users, this tactic guaranteed vast reach across China and consequently contributed to their goal of increasing global interest.

Furthermore, the Wimbledon app introduced a new feature combining artificial intelligence and mixed reality. Named “Fred”, after notorious tennis player Fred Perry, the attendees of the tournament using the Wimbledon app will have their own pocket-sized AI assistant. “Fred” will respond to questions users on site may have, whether related to match timings, directions or restaurants. Wimbledon plans to expand this AI assistant in years to come.

Image: Wimbledon app Ask Fred (KHWS Blog)

Whose advantage is it?

So, has it worked? Look out for how these digital features have impacted Wimbledon this year… have you used the Wimbledon app for the first time? Have you noticed more digital interaction with the brand than ever before? Wimbledon only plans to further digitally expand in years to come, so watch this space!