July 8, 2016 | Written by: Gareth Mackown
Categorized: Customer Experience
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It’s that time of year again. Finals are approaching, the rain is dwindling and 13 days of unforgettable tennis is drawing to conclusion at The Championships, Wimbledon. The perfectly cut grass and all that comes with it at The Championships represents an event of British character in its truest sense. Guests far and wide have visited SW19 in their thousands to fully immerse themselves in the true experience of Wimbledon and the famous day out that a trip there represents.
As a sporting event, Wimbledon is all about the battles on court and the stories that they create, whether the David and Goliath-esque effort of Willis vs Federer (which topped social media activity across the tournament) or the epic 19-17 fifth set victory of Tsonga over Isner on the first Middle Sunday since 2004. With the advent of digital media, these stories are appealing to audiences beyond the archetypal tennis fan and mobile is the key channel through which to broaden this appeal. Today, a visit to Wimbledon takes many forms and increasingly it is becoming one that is just as much about the surrounding experience as it is about the tennis itself. From the 320,000 glasses of Pimms consumed in 2015 to the 140,000 punnets of strawberries, Wimbledon is a sporting event broadening its appeal from a competition to a quintessentially British day out.
Today, consumers and fans alike have moved beyond the utilitarian consumption of the goods that a brand will provide; they want to live it. We are in an age of experiential consumption and, more importantly, content co-creation. The key here is the near-to universal ownership of mobile devices and their growing role in British social culture. For Wimbledon, mobile devices and in a broader sense, digital, acts as a gateway to the brand and an opportunity to encourage genuine, contextual engagement. Last year alone, Wimbledon digital content was consumed by 21.1m unique devices and saw 49m mobile.com page views. When considering that the capacity of the grounds sits at 39,000, the importance of telling the story beyond the grounds is only growing.
Wimbledon and sports fans in 2016 more than ever are content creators, empowered to capture and share their experiences from the grounds and further afield. By equipping these fans and visitors with the insight and the platform to fully immerse themselves in the day’s activity, the AELTC holds the opportunity to fuse together social and digital channels to provide all fans with access to the most relevant stories in context, especially for a brand with a social media audience of over 8.5m.
That’s why one of the most exciting innovations this year is the acknowledgement of this content curation for Wimbledon’s mobile app, and the integration of features to engage fans on the move on a whole new level. A day out in Wimbledon is based on more than tennis; now, to truly soak up the atmosphere, fans want to capture it to share with others, too.
Not only can fans in Wimbledon plan their day, the introduction of the personalised ‘Wimbledon Story’ allows visitors to capture and share their experiences across social media channels, transcending the global community. In a sharing economy, providing the platform and impetus for fans to record and amplify their content brings them together regardless of location, and more importantly positions them as brand advocates in a more authentic way. As content curators, the excitement of Wimbledon can now provide fans with the ability to curate and share personalised content as an extension of the day. With a mobile device never far from our hands, technology is embedded not only in our everyday habits, but in our experiences too.
Wimbledon in 2016 more than ever before is integrating every facet of experience into its digital platform to truly provide a gateway to the brand, irrespective of the location of the fan. Today, the boundaries between channels are blurring and expectation is driven by experience, making it even more important that fans are met with a beautifully designed digital journey, so that from the grounds, on the hill, in the queue, on Court 1 or even on the sofa, fans with real-time match insights and experience updates at their fingertips can become fully immersed in the The Wimbledon Championships.
As the transition between digital and physical channels becomes more seamless, the data and technology behind the tennis can fuse to allow fans to learn and create simultaneously, supporting the mantra of Wimbledon not only to be the best tennis tournament in the world, but also to provide a differentiated digital experience across the board.
This story of a differentiated digital experience is becoming increasingly vital for all organisations regardless of industry. Whether you are a bank looking to better engage with your customers (and employees) as they move between branch, website and mobile, or a healthcare provider who is digitising the patient experience and securely connecting it with doctors and insurers in real-time, the Wimbledon experience is a fantastic showcase for how mobile can be the glue between our digital and physical worlds.
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