Wimbledon. Just the word brings to mind strawberries and cream, and a glass of Pimms. Oh yes, it also means tennis, or more specifically, lawn tennis. Since 1877 the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) in Wimbledon has been home of one of the world's most prestigious sporting events. Wimbledon attracts the best tennis players in the world, is seen on TV in many parts of the world and attracts top corporate sponsors. More people want tickets than are available, but if you're lucky, you might get to watch a match. (Keep the kids out of your hair and wallet by saving on summer camps, sports leagues, day trips and more. Find out how, in Budget-Friendly Summer Fun.)
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By The Numbers
- £13,725,000: The total prize money available to players up 9.4% from 2009. The singles champions receive £1,000,000 each, with the runner-up collecting £500,000. Losing in the first round is worth £11,250. Lose in the first round of qualifying play and get a check for £1,750. Win the doubles match and the pair take home £240,000 with the runner-up receiving £120,000 per pair. The wheelchair doubles winners take home £7,000 per pair. All players receive an estimated £772,000 per diem.
- 33 years: It has been 33 years since the Queen last attended a match. On June 24, Her Majesty will take her place in the Royal Box on Centre Court.
- 1: The number of times the new retractable roof was used to ward away the rain during a match. 2009 was the first year rain forced the closure of the new roof during the fourth round match between Dinara Safina and Amelie Mauresmo and remained closed for the match between Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka.
- 40+: The number of countries receiving television broadcast of Wimbledon. Wimbledon is broadcast throughout Europe and worldwide on local TV networks. While not disclosed, television broadcast rights provide a significant portion of the income for the tournament.
- 511,043: The total record attendance in 2009, with nine of the 13 days experiencing record attendance.
- 54,200: The number of tennis balls used during the 2009 tournament. I wonder what happens to the used balls.
- 11.5 million and 359 million: The number of people who logged onto the Wimbledon website in 2009 and the total number of page views. Advertisers on the Wimbledon site want to see that their support receives many eyes.
- 8,300 and 13,500: Number of ladies' and men's championship towels sold in 2009. Sales of mementos of the tournament are a source of revenue for the Club. Also sold were 6,500 giant tennis balls and 36,632 items of headgear.
- 1: Matt Harvey becomes the first Wimbledon poet, the Championships Poet 2010, who will write a poem a day for two weeks.
- 2: There are special applications for the iPhone and the Android that give spectators a unique experience. The IBM Seer Android takes a live video feed from the handset's camera and superimposes data associated with what the camera sees. Point the camera at the match and you will receive details about the current match as well as upcoming matches. Point it to Court 1 and it will tell you if there are any available seats. It will also point you to the nearest Pimms stand and tell you how long the queue is.
iPhone has an app you can download from the Wimbledon home page. This application gives you receive live scores and scoreboards, video highlights and live audio from Radio Wimbledon.
- $15 million+: Estimated payment from each lead corporate sponsor. Wimbledon officials want their sponsors to respect the under-stated approach to the operation of the tournament. Rolex, a sponsor of the tournament for 31 years has a small watch on the Wimbledon site showing the time. It is the only indication that Rolex is a sponsor. The large banners, electronic signs and mega logos so common at many professional sporting events are missing from the grounds of the All England Club.
IBM, another lead sponsor, has a small advertisement on the home page of the Wimbledon site. Click on that link and you see a much broader commentary on how IBM helps the tournament while subtly pushing IBM.
- 375 members: There are 375 members in the private All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Honorary members include past singles champions and about 100 temporary members elected from year to year.
The Bottom Line
Wimbledon is a business that maintains a gentile environment without all the commercial trappings found at many sporting events. This approach provides a unique experience for spectators attending the match and for viewers of television or internet broadcasts. All tennis fans appreciate the Wimbledon event, a sign the All England Club continues to run a superb event that succeeds financially. Enjoy the tournament.
Catch up on the latest financial news, read Water Cooler Finance: Billion Dollar Summits and Barack Vs. BP.