The Championships, Wimbledon, was recognised as Sports Brand of the Year at the 2014 BT Sport Industry Awards, in what is arguably the event's most prestigious and coveted category.
The judges commended the All England Club for a submission which captured not only the record-breaking viewing figures of The Championships in 2013 and Andy Murray's extraordinary victory, but also what they dubbed "some of the most innovative digital work in the country."
Faced with unprecedented demand in 2013, The Championships did not stand still, developing engaging touch-points to provide unique access to its iconic brand. A new iPad app, award-nominated website, mobile apps and a holistic social media strategy brought Wimbledon to life for 20 million digital users. In SW19 itself, a new arrival experience at Wimbledon station drove its own social following, while 4,000 of the nation's children took part in a Blue Peter competition to design the official tournament poster for 2013.
The launch of the Wimbledon Foundation also saw over 20,000 children competing in the Road to Wimbledon for the chance to play on the hallowed lawns. 2013 witnessed the first British men’s singles champion in 77 years and while the nation stood still in anticipation, Wimbledon launched a new Master Plan for the grounds to ensure The Championships remains one of the most iconic sporting events in the world – whoever the champion.
Wimbledon was shortlisted alongside Manchester United FC, the UEFA Champions League and adidas for the Sports Brand of the Year, while also being shortlisted for Digital Platform of the Year and Best Use of Social Media.
Nick Keller, Chairman of the Sport Industry Group, commented: “The winners of the BT Sport Industry Awards 2014 reflect the international nature of this fantastic sector, and are testament to the unique place the British sport industry occupies on a global scale. From London to Australia, Dunblane to New York and Liverpool to South-East Asia, the work rewarded tonight has been selected from an absolutely stellar shortlist in which the quality has been higher than ever.”
Alan Pascoe, who won the Barclays Lifetime Achievement Award, summed up the mood in the room when he said: "I'm jealous of the young people starting in this business, because I wish I was starting again. You've got a great industry – most people would give their right arm to be in this business."
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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