wimbeldon-the-hill-in new york 2023-big-screen.jpg

Wimbledon Crosses the Pond with its Sponsors to Engage U.S. Fans at ‘The Hill in New York’

WimbledonatTheHillNYBarclays truck 2023

Brand partner Barclays dished out a frozen version of Wimbledon’s famous strawberries and cream treat.

As part of a larger shift to modernize and grow its audience, All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) for a second year brought its iconic The Championships matches and brand partners to consumers across the Atlantic, recreating The Hill, the most iconic fan experience at Wimbledon. The Hill is a garden experience where fans watch the finals live on a big screen from the comfort of their picnic blanket on a patch of grass, noshing on summery-fresh strawberries and cream, a proper gin and tonic in hand.

This year’s The Hill in New York, held at Brooklyn Bridge Park, July 14-16, featured a livestream of the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Finals on the big screen through U.S. broadcast partner ESPN. The event was free, but 1,500 daily winners from ballot pre-submissions scored guaranteed spots when doors opened, while others entered on standby. This year, more than 20,000 ballots were received and attendee numbers reached more than 5,000 through the weekend. Thirty percent of attendees stayed an average of 120 minutes, and 45 percent of fans braving Sunday morning’s rain for the Men’s Finals proved their super fandom by maintaining that dwell time average (tracked by mesh sensors).

The charm of British tradition is what keeps consumers there–and still coming–after the finals each day, a strategy that helps the property attract new fans to the Wimbledon brand and creates engagement opportunities for longtime brand partners like IBM, Stella Artois, Ralph Lauren, Babolat, American Express, and Barclays. On-site activations are befitting of the British palette for low-key sponsorships.

pickleball-carvana-ppa-tour-2022_teaserSports Sponsorship Trends:

The event’s British infusion began a day early with AELTC’s kickoff event for media and brand partners held at the home of the British Consulate, followed by a smaller roundtable brand discussion about the future of global sports marketing and live-stream events as a form of brand engagement.

British accents abounded on-site through the locally recruited, Brit-born brand ambassadors (dressed head-to-toe in Ralph Lauren tennis whites) and English emcee Sophie Sumner leading fan contests while piping in live bits from New York to the U.K. broadcast audience. Replays of classic Wimbledon matches helped entertain attendees during the day, along with surprise musical performances, like headliner Mel C of the Spice Girls on Saturday. “The Lawn in New York” area up front is the VIP equivalent to courtside seats, populated by celebrities, influencers, and brand partners whose social media presence amplified the activation.

Wimbledon_the hill_2023_credit Tami Fairwether

The Hill in New York is part of Wimbledon’s broader efforts to modernize its brand and attract new audiences.



This year’s attendee experience started with a warm welcome from a brand ambassador perched high on a line judge chair before they walked through a series of white garden trellises draped with lush green vines of purple wisteria blooms, invoking the three classic colors of the Wimbledon logo. Highlights from the history of the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament lined the inner walls.

The Hill itself is the park’s Liberty Lawn, with a stunning backdrop of the East River and Lower Manhattan skyline, which enhanced Babalot’s outdoor photo booth featuring oversized rackets and the #TheHillNY official photo frame on the promenade behind the big screen. American Express cardholders received complimentary morning iced coffee from LaVazza, plus a special reserved spot on the grass.

Next to the main stage, a Barclays ice cream truck served Wimbledon’s famous strawberries and cream in frozen form all day (a smart move for New Yorkers in the summer heat). Sipsmith’s Gin sampled specialty cocktails under the shade of umbrellas, with full pours free in the VIP lounge and for sale at the main bar. Attendees could bring their own food, but most opted to purchase classics like cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, fish & chips, a Stella Artois or a full charcuterie board served in a picnic basket.

A signatory of the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework, the AELTC endorses practices like a water cistern for personal bottle refills and reusable sign materials by the production agency. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s sustainability practices complemented those values with its use of salvaged materials, collection of storm water for irrigation use, recycling, waste management and more.

Sanctioning the activation for a second year in a row is a sign of commitment for AELTC, and even more so was the debut of a merch booth, marking the only physical location outside Wimbledon with towels, caps, bags, and sweatbands available for purchase. The brand has its sights on activating The Hill in other markets. Agency: TXG (The Experiential Group).

Step Inside The Hill in New York:

Photo credit: Billy Weiss; Austin Donohue 

Tami Fairweather

Tami Fairweather is a writer, communications consultant, connector, and sometimes event planner based in New Orleans. Her 20+ year career in marketing, media relations and events has spanned the travel, outdoor, arts, entertainment and nonprofit industries with one common theme: connection.
View all articles by Tami Fairweather →

Receive the latest news and special announcements from Event Marketer


© 2024 Access Intelligence, LLC – All Rights Reserved. |