Wimbledon’s Virtual Audience Expansion

Published 07 July 2023

1 min read

With Wimbledon well under way (July 3-16), the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) – which owns the annual championships – is nurturing next-gen audiences via playful activations on social gaming platforms including Roblox and, for the first time this year, Fortnite.

The AELTC’s Roblox debut in 2022 was a resounding success: WimbleWorld received more than 12 million visitors, 80% of whom were younger than 24, making it one of Roblox’s most visited official sports experiences.

This year’s WimbleWorld update brings new interactive brand explorations, including a lawn-mowing game. It’s a smart choice: mundane games have become an audience-enchanting category of the Cosy Gaming genre (see Pop Culture Primer 2023), in which players unwind with calming social hangouts and low-stakes tasks instead of high-energy competition. For example, British games company Futurlab’s 2022 PowerWash Simulator – where people clean buildings and driveways with a virtual power washer – has amassed sales of $16m.

The AELTC is also expanding its commitment to social gaming into Fortnite with mini-game Race to Wimbledon, hosted by a virtual version of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. Players race past famous landmarks and surreal obstacles like giant strawberries towards Wimbledon’s Centre Court. The fastest get the chance to win American-Express-sponsored tickets and travel to the 2024 Wimbledon finals.

Gaming has overtaken watching TV and movies as Gens Z and Alpha’s favourite entertainment (Deloitte, 2021). Young audiences’ cultural playgrounds are shifting into virtual spaces, and brands need to meet them there. 

The AELTC’s Roblox debut in 2022 was a resounding success: WimbleWorld received more than 12 million visitors, 80% of whom were younger than 24, making it one of Roblox’s most visited official sports experiences.

This year’s WimbleWorld update brings new interactive brand explorations, including a lawn-mowing game. It’s a smart choice: mundane games have become an audience-enchanting category of the Cosy Gaming genre (see Pop Culture Primer 2023), in which players unwind with calming social hangouts and low-stakes tasks instead of high-energy competition. For example, British games company Futurlab’s 2022 PowerWash Simulator – where people clean buildings and driveways with a virtual power washer – has amassed sales of $16m.

The AELTC is also expanding its commitment to social gaming into Fortnite with mini-game Race to Wimbledon, hosted by a virtual version of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. Players race past famous landmarks and surreal obstacles like giant strawberries towards Wimbledon’s Centre Court. The fastest get the chance to win American-Express-sponsored tickets and travel to the 2024 Wimbledon finals.

Gaming has overtaken watching TV and movies as Gens Z and Alpha’s favourite entertainment (Deloitte, 2021). Young audiences’ cultural playgrounds are shifting into virtual spaces, and brands need to meet them there.