Wimbledon has been around since 1877 and it hasn’t changed much since. The private club has many unique qualities that separate it from the rest of the tennis grand slams and other sporting events. On Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports, Wimbledon Club Manager Philip Brook brought up many characteristics that shape the tournament. Brook sees the tournament on the same par as The Masters at Augusta, with specific rules and traditions that make the event special.
Wimbledon, which will begin Monday June 23 and conclude on July 6, is the only one of the four slams that is still played on its original surface. Players are still required to wear only white for matches, and one of the only ways to become a member is to win the tournament. The grass is regrown every year from scratch, perfectly cut and maintained for the two-week event. It is also the only tournament that is run by a private club. All the other majors- US Open, French Open and Australian Open- are organized and financed through each country’s respective tennis federation.
Wimbledon has 12 official suppliers, including IBM, Ralph Lauren, Evian and Stella Artois, which provide goods and services, essential for the staging of The Championships and which meet the Club’s objective of improving the quality of the service to players, spectators and media. Despite having so many sponsors, there are no advertisements on the courts during the tournament. Every other sport and event has walls covered in multiple sponsors, but according to Club Manager Brook, having sponsors in the background would “damage the brand forever.” He continued to explain that the Club isn’t motivated by making money. They want to sustain the prestige of the club.
Despite not being motivated by making money, 2013 brought profits of $47,616,725. Brook mentions that the tournament sells close to half a million tickets a year-486,898 in 2013, and is a money magnet. 2014 singles champions earn a cool £1.76 million each, which translates to $2.9 million American dollars, a 10% increase from 2013. This figure surpasses the 2014 Australian Open and French Open winner checks, which were $2.65 million and $2.3 million respectively.
Wimbledon has become one of the most premier events in the sporting world and hope to maintain that status for years to come with their traditions and one-of-a-kind characteristics.