As the world's most high-profile tennis tournament gets underway today, a raft of global brands ranging from Polo Ralph Lauren and Champagne Lanson to Haagen-Dazs and IBM will get their chance for plenty of airtime over the next two weeks as Wimbledon 2019 sponsors
As the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the scene of sporting greats like Roger Federer and Serena Williams, SW19 provides an ideal platform for the Wimbledon 2019 sponsors.
The Championships, Wimbledon, kicks off in London today (1 July) and runs until 14 July – also featuring stars like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Ashleigh Barty and Angelique Kerber.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club’s (AELTC) premier event is considered the most reputable and prestigious of the sport’s four Grand Slams for its rich heritage and traditions.
Not only does the grass tournament have a strict dress code for the players, it’s also one of the few tournaments that doesn’t allow advertisement hoardings around the courts.
But that doesn’t mean they go unnoticed.
Although it isn’t always openly displayed – some of the bigger brands it works with include Evian, Ralph Lauren and HSBC – which have now become part of the Wimbledon experience.
How much does Wimbledon earn through its sponsors?
Wimbledon rakes in $55m each year from its 19 sponsors, according to sports intelligence service Sportcal, but it’s not the biggest earner despite being arguably the most prestigious event in tennis.
Sportcal’s head of sponsorship Conrad Wiacek says: “While Wimbledon could certainly generate far more sponsorship revenue than it currently does, by staying true to its values, it maintains the impression of a premium product that sponsors want to be associated with as opposed to a badging exercise.
“Wimbledon occupies a unique space in the tennis calendar and is widely seen as the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.
“Due to this status, the partnerships it enters into are very much reflective of that status.
“Not only does Wimbledon put a premium on continuity – for example, Robinsons has been a partner since 1934, while Slazenger has been the official ball supplier for the tournament since 1902 – the tournament’s entire sponsorship strategy is based on having premium brands as long-term partners.
“This explains the long-term associations for brands such as Stella Artois – which has positioned itself as a brand with heritage – Lanson Champagne, Jaguar and Pimm’s. It doesn’t hurt if those brands are quintessentially British either.”
Where Wimbledon has changed is in its approach to future innovations, believes Mr Wiacek.
He points out how its deal with IBM – a partnership that stretches back to 1990 – has enabled the tournament to develop new technologies involving broadcasting and fan interaction.
“By utilising Watson, IBM’s AI platform, Wimbledon has shown a willingness to embrace the future while staying true to its traditions and developing new and innovative approaches to fan engagement in a digital world,” adds Mr Wiacek.
Here, we list the main Wimbledon 2019 sponsors and suppliers.
List of Wimbledon 2019 sponsors
British sports manufacturer Slazenger has become synonymous with tennis by having its logo on the Wimbledon balls.
It has been the official supplier since 1902 and remains one of the longest unbroken sponsorships in history.
Founded in 1881, it is one of the oldest surviving sporting brands, selling equipment and clothing for tennis, cricket and hockey.
As one of the Wimbledon 2019 sponsors, Slazenger will provide just over 54,000 balls for each tournament.
The team works with sports scientists at Loughborough University to ensure all the balls are perfect for the tournament – every ball will be tested for weight, bounce and compression before it is approved.
The current $2.5m-a-year deal was renewed this year and runs until 2021.
Robinsons, the fruit drink brand owned by Britvic, is known for quenching the thirst of millions of British families and Queen Elizabeth II as a holder of the royal warrant.
So it’s only right it works alongside the quintessentially English Wimbledon tournament.
It began its 84-year relationship with The Championships in 1935, with the invention of the lemon barley water recipe that was provided to all players.
Robinsons bottles can continue to be seen around the grass courts at Wimbledon and the company runs tennis-related competitions as part of its sponsorship deal, which runs until next year and is worth $3m a year.
Last year, the company introduced branded reusable drinks bottles as part of a drive to reduce single-use plastic.
In April 2019, it launched a new on-pack promotion across its Robinsons Refresh-d range offering customers a chance to win Wimbledon experiences, including VIP tickets and branded towels.
Phil Sanders, Great Britain commercial director for At Home at Britvic, said: “We know that sales of Robinsons do spike during the tournament, so our brand partnership is very effective and we look forward to helping reward shoppers with some fantastic prizes while driving sales for retailers.”
The International Business Machines Corporation – also known as IBM – has been a supporter of the AELTC since 1990 and continues as the premier tech brand within the Wimbledon 2019 sponsors list.
The American multinational technology giant doesn’t only work with the UK tennis tournament, but also with the other three grand slams – the US Open, Australian Open and French Open.
It has strong brand recognition in sport, having sponsored the Olympic Games from 1960 to 2000 and the NFL from 2003 to 2012.
The company, which was valued at $124.92bn as of 1 July 2019, records the speeds of players’ serves and provides real-time match statistics for broadcasters.
It will need to renew its sponsorship deal after the end of this year’s competition if it wants to continue the work, however, with the latest four-year arrangement worth $4m annually due to come to an end in 2019.
The official champagne of the tournament since 2001, Lanson was founded in 1760 and has been closely associated with the tournament since 2001.
It is sold in all nine bars and marquees in the grounds and, outside tennis, its wine can be found in more than 120 countries.
The French luxury champagne house, which spends $4m a year on the deal, will mark 18 years as an exclusive partner of the tournament as one of the Wimbledon 2019 sponsors.
It will officially launch its new Gold Label 2009 drink – costing £55.80 – at The Championships, while it will also host 100 premium Wimbledon-themed events at bars, restaurants and hotels across the UK.
Champagne Lanson International managing director Paul Beavis, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be continuing our long-standing – and very happy – relationship with everyone involved with this international tournament.
“It is very exciting to be able to continue to be a part of the Wimbledon story and we have ambitious plans to build on its success.
“We always love to bring something new to the annual event. Last year we launched our Lanson Green Label Brut Organic Champagne – this year, we are thrilled that our guests will be able to enjoy our quite special Vintage Lanson Gold Label 2009.
“It will be a prestigious addition to our existing offering at The Championships, Wimbledon.”
Polo Ralph Lauren is the first designer in the history of The Championships to partner with AELTC and dresses all Wimbledon on-court officials.
It is one of the most recent partnerships as the two prestigious brands only joined forces in 2006. The current four-year deal is worth $4m a year and expires in 2020.
The clothing company provides the elegant uniforms for chair and line umpires featuring classic navy blazers and cream-coloured trousers.
Ball boys and girls also wear the polo designs, including navy polos and sporty shorts and skirts – helping to uphold the club’s traditions.
It also sells the same products in its stores, online and at the centre court shop in the Wimbledon grounds.
Pimm’s and Wimbledon go hand-in-hand after the alcoholic drink became an icon of British summertime and the staple drink at the tennis tournament.
The summer-long drink is known for its phrase “Pimm’s O’Clock” and has successfully achieved its unique image and character over the years by having long-term mutually beneficial supplier agreements.
It has a special bar and pop-ups stalls across the site during the tournament, while in recent years it has even served up its own cocktail called “The Pimmbledon”.
The current sponsorship deal, signed in 2017 as a multi-year partnership with no specified end date, is worth $3m a year.
Helping the tens of thousands of spectators cool down is luxury ice cream brand Haagen-Dazs, which will be the official cream of The Championships for the third year in a row.
In 2017, it launched a £2m Wimbledon summer campaign that included the creation of a limited edition ice cream variant.
It took over London Underground stations near the tennis courts, and also ran five kiosks and two scooping parlours within the grounds.
And last year, the company used influencer marketing by bringing on board players like Grigor Dimitrov, Sloane Stephens and Laura Robson – alongside tennis legend Björn Borg – as both official and unofficial partners to support experiential events.
It will be interesting to see what it has in store for 2019 as its $2m-a-year deal, due to expire in 2020, continues for another year.
Jaguar Land Rover
During the tournament, tennis players and their entourages will need something to get around in – that’s were Jaguar Land Rover comes in.
The car manufacturer has previously supplied 170 luxury and high-performance vehicles throughout the tournament.
Some of the models it has previously offered have included the Jaguar XE and XF, as well as the XF Sportsbrake and XJ models, while this year it will showcase its all-electric SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, at the tournament.
It has also created the Ace Pace: Wimbledon Edition app for tennis fans to measure the speed of their own serve, while this year it will host a special “viewing party” in which it live streams Wimbledon matches on big screens at the Westfield shopping centres in Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford.
Jaguar Land Rover UK marketing director Laura Schwab said: “Wimbledon is a British icon, which is recognised globally as the pinnacle of international sport. There’s no other event like it.
“The tournament captures our imagination in different ways. For some, it’s the feeling of summer, but for others it’s British sport at its best.
“We’re very excited to be working with the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club to establish our new partnership and celebrate what makes Wimbledon so special.”
Jaguar Land Rover, which signed a new multi-year deal in 2018 with no end date specified, pays $3m a year on the sponsorship.
One of the UK’s favourite premium lager brands is also the official beer of UK tennis.
Since 2014, Stella Artois has supplied its distinct, crisp and slightly bitter-to-taste drink to tennis enthusiasts.
The beer company was founded in 1926 and originally brewed in Leuven, Belgium, but is now a global brand.
It spends $4m a year on its sponsorship package, with the latest deal running from 2019 to 2021.
Italy’s premier coffee brand will serve hot drinks to spectators in the AELTC’s grounds as one of the Wimbledon 2019 sponsors.
The international coffee company renewed its supplier contract in 2017, securing its position as the official Wimbledon coffee until this year at an annual cost of $3m.
It also partnered with tennis icon Andre Agassi as the brand’s global ambassador for the tournament.
Throughout the competition, it will provide more than 200 coffee machines at 60 service points, including 13 bars and restaurants, as well as areas reserved for players and match officials.
Each year, more than one million cups of coffees are served to the crowds inside and outside the grounds.
Since 2008, Evian has been the water of choice for tennis players during matches.
The French multinational corporation last year added another five tournaments to its contract to remain the official bottled water supplier until 2022 at a cost of $1.6m a year.
The brand has worked with 2017 Wimbledon women’s champion Garbine Muguruza, who was the company’s brand ambassador last year.
James Ralley, head of marketing and commercial at the AELTC, said last year: “We have always been very impressed with how Evian activates its relationship with The Championships and we look forward to further collaboration and success in the next stage of our partnership.”
International bank HSBC is in charge of providing the on-site banking services for the players, public and retailers during the tournament.
HSBC also backs the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 & Under Challenge competition.
It’s the UK’s largest national junior grass court tournament and those involved compete for the chance to play in the national finals, which are held on Wimbledon’s famous grass courts in August.
At The Championships, the bank invites fans waiting in the queue for entry into the grounds to play a tennis match on court 20 for a chance to win prizes, while HSBC customers can enjoy free strawberries and cream at its customer booth.
Through its Wimbledon Foundation, which aims to use the power of sport to advance young people’s personal development, it also runs the official ticket resale scheme.
HSBC spends $4m a year on sponsorship, with its existing deal renewed in 2018 and lasting until 2022.
Chinese smartphone brand Oppo became the first ever Asian sponsor of Wimbledon when it signed a $2m-a-year deal this year until 2023.
The company which also sponsors FC Barcelona and the ICC Cricket World Cup, is also the first official smartphone supplier of the tournament.
Oppo’s products will be displayed throughout the competition and its technology incorporated into events.
Photographers, for example, will be given Oppo camera phones to capture key moments over the two weeks, with the best images featuring in a dedicated photo gallery.
It will also sponsor a breakthrough award for young stars.
Oppo vice-president Brian Shen said: “The Championships have a strong synergy with our brand values of prioritising innovation and design in our products.
“We are confident this partnership will further strengthen our expansion plans across the European marketplace and in turn our communication globally.”
American Express entered a partnership with Wimbledon in July 2018 but its sponsorship only begins at this year’s competition.
Running until 2021, the credit card provider will give the AELTC $4m a year for its role as the official payments partner.
The company has a long history in sports sponsorship, as the main backer of Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion – who play in the American Express Community Stadium – and a partner of the US Open tennis and golf tournaments.
Amex card holders have been able to get access to an exclusive hospitality pre-sale and card member lounge behind court three, as well as cash back and discounts on site.
Luxury watch brand Rolex has been in unison with Wimbledon ever since 1978, when it became the official timekeeper of The Championships.
While its no longer listed on the tournament’s list of official suppliers online, the company pays $4m a year in a deal that runs until 2022.
The famous green scoreboards are adorned with the Rolex logo, while eight-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer is one of its most high-profile ambassadors.