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!
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