Last year 28,000 bottles of Champagne were enjoyed at the prestigious tennis tournament, and Lanson’s activities extend outside the Grounds as well.
Wimbledon offers Lanson the chance to reach new consumers, Paul Beavis, managing director Champagne Lanson UK & International, told BeverageDaily.com.
Strawberries and Champagne are among the traditions of the English grand slam tournament, which runs from the June 29 to July 12 with top players Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Serena Williams taking to the courts.
Heritage and history
Champagne Lanson has enjoyed a 26 year relationship with the All England Club. It has been the exclusive Champagne supplier for the Championships since 2001.
“No other Champagne can be sold which means that we have a military operation to ensure that every Champagne Bar within the Grounds is well-stocked, and provides a holistic activation brief that has synergy with the Lanson brand,” said Beavis, who has been at the Tournament himself this week.
Outside of the Grounds there are more than 100 activation programmes running across the country in bars, hotels, venues and supermarkets which stock Lanson. This is in addition to mass media campaigns.
Advertising at Wimbledon is carefully controlled – the tournament states it does ‘specifically not commercialise the Grounds overtly.’
“History proves the public respect heritage,” Beavis said. “Not only is brash advertising distracting, but the Tournament is about the Game so nothing else should get in the way of the sheer brilliance of the tournament. Advertising and sponsorship is secondary to this.”
Bubballs all round
Tennis has often been associated with an elitist image, a game for the middle and upper classes and posh members’ clubs. Wimbledon is the world’s oldest and arguably most prestigious tennis tournament, maintaining certain standards and traditions.
So is Champagne Lanson only able to appeal to a certain audience through Wimbledon? Does Beavis believe Wimbledon can only appeals to a relatively narrow demographic?
“I totally disagree” he said. “Tennis appeals to all ages, sexes and demographics.
“It can even unite a nation. Just look at what happened when an unknown German - seeded 102 - beat Nadal. Look at when Murray triumphed. The entire country got behind him.”
Reputation and prestige
Other beverage companies partnering with the world-famous tournament this year include Robinsons (Britvic), Evian (Danone), Jacob’s Creek (Pernod Ricard), Stella Artois and Lavazza.
For Champagne Lanson, Wimbledon’s prestige and international audience makes it special.
“New customers taste us for the first time, which we value,” said Beavis. “We have a unique partnership [with Wimbledon] where both parties are equal. We understand one another's brands and respect each another.”
Beavis says Champagne Lanson approaches each of its sponsorships differently.
“With The Championships, Wimbledon, we have introduced our exclusive neoprene ice jackets. With Chesterton's Polo in the Park last month it was our Rose Label.
“Our White Label was highlighted at Henley [Regatta] and our Extra Age and Black Label are key to our strategy at Garsington [Opera].”
But for all the attention and excitement, Wimbledon only lasts two weeks.
“What we have to do as a key sponsor is to maximise the opportunity to ensure that we leave no stone unturned when it comes to our awareness,” said Beavis.
For example, its neoprene ice jackets are available in supermarkets as well as in the grounds. “For those customers who are unable to see the live game - they can enjoy watching from the comfort of their own homes with our chilled bottles,” said Beavis. “A win/win!”