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Game, set, match. Wimbledon embraces the new digital age

Game, set, match. Wimbledon embraces the new digital age

Today sees the opening of one of the greatest tennis championships in the sporting calendar; Wimbledon. Here, we take a look at what the event is doing to cater for a younger audience and the preparation being taken for days when broadcast television is almost a thing of the past.

Growing up in the Crate household, there was a constant green screen in the living room for the same two weeks of June every year, as the well-manicured lawns of Wimbledon took over the TV viewing schedule. But with new forms of media continuing to develop as the tournament rolls around each year, Wimbledon has to embrace new platforms and look ahead to the day when TV is no longer watched at the volume it is today and people instead rely on other media.

For 2016’s coverage of the championship, Wimbledon is expanding the level of content they push out, with fans being able to see more than ever before. One of the main platforms they will be making more use of, is its app. They will be adding a Snapchat-inspired ‘Create your own story’ element, allowing fans to share their own experiences for other app-users to see. They’ll also be adding a ‘Plan your visit’ feature, which will be targeting first time ticketholders, offering them tips and personalised content to make their visit the best it can possibly be.

Wimbledon is also looking to make more use of their social media channels this year, promising to share more behind the scenes footage on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. They’re also looking to double its live content on Snapchat with four Live Stories being shared this year and on Periscope, they’ll be broadcasting more footage to an audience that’s grown to 500,000.

For the first time, they will be working with Apple TV to create an app that will enable fans and followers of the tournament to experience live matches and radio online, meaning no compulsory TV watching for fans of the game.

Wimbledon isn’t the only sporting competition which has our attention for the next fortnight though, as the UEFA’s Euro 2016 comes to a close. The two have entered into partnership to mutually attract viewers to both Euro 2016 and Wimbledon, which is a smart move recognising that Britain is a fan of sports in general as opposed to necessarily just the game being played.

It seems like Wimbledon has it sussed, aiming to be at the forefront of sports competitions, doing what they need to do to stay current and engage a younger audience. In a tournament that has been a TV staple for many in the calendar, it’s great to see that Wimbledon has recognised that TV won’t be around forever, as people use their personal devices more and more.

It’s exciting to see the developments in the transmission of such a quintessentially British event that spans fans of all ages and interests. It will be great to see what’s next. Now, I’m off to grab my phone, download the app and indulge in a cream scone!


Photo credit: StuartSlavicky/

Love is love

Love is love

As reports flooded in from Orlando on Sunday morning my heart sank. 49 dead. 53 injured. A gay nightclub gunned down in cold blood in an act of terrorism. Tears welled in my eyes as I thought: “Those poor people. It could so easily have been here.”

In the wake of the hatred and horror is a message of hope: #LoveisLove. Around the world there has been an incredible outpouring of love for those affected by the atrocities in Orlando, millions of messages of support and public debates on how such a homophobic attack could take place.

Two years ago, Stripe worked on the Speak Up Against Hate Crime campaign. For months afterwards I was haunted by the stories we’d heard and the pain people experience at the hands of others simply for being themselves. Fortunately, Police crime statistics showed that homophobic crimes have become the territory of a very small group of marginalised extremists. Such hate crime is no longer a common occurrence.

In 2014, we relaunched the Scottish Government’s One Scotland brand as a national equality campaign. At that time, YouGov research showed three-quarters of Scots thought Scotland had made great progress towards equality in the last decade. I believe those figures would be even higher if polled today with the Western cultural shift that’s seen mainstream homophobia crumble away.

One of my best friends is LGBT equality campaigner John Naples-Campbell. When equal marriage was introduced, he turned to me and said: “we’ve fought our cause for so long that I never thought this day would come. I’m so proud of our country.” It was one of the most poignant moments in our friendship.

Tonight, some of the Stripe team is attending a candlelight vigil to celebrate the lives and mark the deaths of those killed in Orlando. We will stand proud together because #LoveisLove.

Stripe scores CIPR Outstanding Consultancy 2016

Stripe scores CIPR Outstanding Consultancy 2016

We walked away from the annual UK CIPR Excellence Awards in London triumphant last night (8 June) with a double whammy of awards – scooping Outstanding Mid-sized Consultancy and Outstanding Young Communicator for Edinburgh based senior account manager, Shaun Bell.

As the first ever Scottish agency to win the prestigious award in 2014 and to now have won it for a second year, what a fantastic achievement for the team and recognition of their tireless hard work, talent and passion. It’s also the first time one of the Stripes has been shortlisted – and indeed won – Outstanding Young Communicator. Well done Shaun!

The awards come following a busy year for us with a number of high profile new business wins and continued growth, including the launch of our London office in January 2016.


Full Speed Ahead For Team Stripe at Mountain Bike World Cup 2016

Full Speed Ahead For Team Stripe at Mountain Bike World Cup 2016

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William has legendary status amongst the global mountain bike community. Every year, thousands of fans, riders and media make the pilgrimage up to the Scottish Highlands to watch the sport’s elite stars battle it out on the slopes of Aonach Mor in the hope of winning a World Cup crown.

This year, organisers Rare Management, tasked Stripe with building pre-event awareness and engagement on and offline to help drive ticket sales and excitement.

It’s the eighth consecutive year Stripe has been responsible for delivering communications activity at one of Scotland’s major annual sporting events. Our role is multi-faceted and ranges from maximising opportunities to raise the profile of the event through media relations, social media activity and stakeholder engagement to managing UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) media accreditation and photographers from across the globe in the onsite press office.

With a shift towards a more clearly defined digital strategy, we used Facebook and Twitter as our key communication channels to connect and resonate with die-hard fans, as well as engaging with families looking for something different to capture their kids’ imaginations.

Mountain Bike World Cup 2016-Steve Peat and Legends of the future

Supported by strong media moments, including a high impact press launch with Fort William legend, Steve Peat, we achieved some great media cut through for a sport that continues to struggle for column inches in the British press. The results have so far been epic, and we’re not just talking about this year’s winning riders, Rachel Atherton and Greg Minnaar, who stole the show in the women’s and men’s elite downhill events.

Mountain Bike World Cup 2016-female winners-stripe

In the month leading up to the downhill action, our social media content reached more than 450,000 people – almost 7,000 Facebook page views and 44,000 post engagements took place during the event alone, where activity peaked.

We also secured a wide variety of earned media coverage in national print, broadcast and online media titles, as well as mountain bike trade magazines.

Early indications suggest it’s been a bumper year for ticket sales.

Thanks to the glorious Highland sunshine as well as some incredible sporting moments, there’s no doubt this year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup has been one of the best yet.

Mountain Bike World Cup 2016-bowl-Stripe