Ever wondered why Emma Watson, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, and innumerous celebrities attend the WIMBLEDON quite often?
It is just to witness the perpetual grandeur that it has to offer, and that is undoubtedly true. They are always intrigued by the thrill that the sport brings, as this is one of the most famous grand slams. Apart from being one of the favourite tournaments of the British royal family, this is one of the oldest tennis tournaments still played on grass courts. No wonder it attracts some of the high-profile celebrities.
The ROYAL sport, as it is widely called, Tennis, is one such elite game that has amassed a huge audience over the years. It is not self-styled and has been purported to be among the most prestigious and lavish sports for the right reasons. The Grand Slams are the ones that we have to look out for so keenly, as the money involved in them is truly flabbergasting.
History of Wimbledon:
The Championships, commonly known simply as Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is regarded by many as the most prestigious. It has been held at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877 and is played on outdoor grass courts, with retractable roofs over the two main courts since 2019.
Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the others being the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open. Wimbledon is the only major still played on grass, the traditional tennis playing surface.
The tournament traditionally takes place over two weeks in late June and early July, starting on the last Monday in June and culminating with the Ladies' and Gentlemen's Singles Finals, scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday at the end of the second week. Five major events are held each year, with additional junior and invitational competitions also taking place.
In 2009, Wimbledon's Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof to lessen the loss of playing time due to rain. A roof was operational over No. 1 Court from 2019, when several other improvements were made, including adding cushioned seating, a table, and ten independently operable cameras per court to capture the games.
Wimbledon traditions include a strict all-white dress code for competitors and royal patronage. Strawberries and cream are traditionally consumed at the tournament. Unlike other tournaments, advertising is minimal and low-key from official suppliers such as Slazenger and Rolex. The relationship with Slazenger is the world's longest-running sporting sponsorship, providing balls for the tournament since 1902.
The Camaraderie that it hopes to imbibe in our spirit is of utmost value as it has carried the teaching of its tradition for almost a century now.
So, how does Wimbledon make so much money?
The annual Wimbledon Tennis Championship from the All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) generates revenue from media rights deals with TV operators and networks around the world, as well as from tickets, sponsorships, concessions, and merchandise sales. It is estimated that global media rights for the Wimbledon Championship account for more than half of AELTC's total revenue, with the UK and US contributing most of its media rights fees, which were upward of £175 million in 2022.
(Courtesy: S&P Global)
It is noteworthy that due to being sponsored by some of the most famous brands like Rolex, it appeases the right audience who are well aware of its tradition since time immemorial. The schedules for ticket booking are also chock–a–block well before the tournament begins.
Quick facts about the tournament –
Simply Tennis. No Advertisements.
Unlike other tournaments, where most of the real estate, including the net, is taken up by sponsor logos - Wimbledon has absolutely nothing.
(Courtesy – Quora.com)
The Royal Box.
The Royal Box has been used for the entertainment of friends and guests of Wimbledon since 1922. The Royal Box has 74 seats. They are dark green Lloyd Loom wicker chairs. British and overseas Royal Families are invited as well as heads of government, people from the world of tennis, commercial partners, British armed forces, prominent media organizations, supporters of British tennis, and other walks of life.
(Courtesy – Wimbledon.com)
The first match on Centre Court goes to the defending champions
The matches on the Centre Court are kicked off by the defending champion of the Gentleman’s Singles. This is a privilege that the defending champion gets as he gets to play on fresh and unused grass surface for his opening match.
Night time curfew
It is the only Grand Slam that retains a night-time curfew, though matches can now continue until 11.00 p.m. under the lights.
Wimbledon is one such tournament that has treasured its ROYALTY since its inception, and the fans are baffled by the experience they are offered. We are yet to witness how this sport is going to take its tournaments forward with all that it is trying to incorporate in its vision, like sustainability, resilience, and climate action, but that’s a topic we have to save for the next time!
Author Meghana is an avid fan of tennis, a badminton enthusiast, and a Bcom graduate. With a keen interest in numbers, she has cleared the foundation level of Indian Chartered Accountancy and is currently pursuing Chartered Global Management Accountancy (CGMA-UK). She is an amateur artist and a bibliophile.