Wimbledon: The Emporer’s new clothes show the power of branding

Despite the all-encompassing feel of the World Cup, today marks the start of another summer institution, Wimbledon.

Home hopes were dashed in the men’s tournament on the eve of the the opening day when Andy Murray withdrew from action because of injury, but Wimbledon doesn’t need the Scot in order to make headline news – though this year the football will make it that little bit harder.

Already, though, the power of Wimbledon to create headlines is obvious.

As the tournament got underway – replete with its own strawberry emoji – we soon found out that this a great day for a massive marketing statement.

Roger Federer strolled onto court number one wearing a recognisable logo on his clothes, but instead of the Nike Swoosh we’re so used to seeing take pride of place on the Swiss legend’s chest it was the red square of Uniqlo that adorned the champion’s whites – something much more associated with Novak Djokovic than Federer.

The power of branding will likely be obvious to everyone reading this article, but this is just another event to prove it. The association between Nike and Federer was so great that most fans will have noticed straight away that something was up. Then moments later, with Twitter the natural port of call for those in search of an explanation, Uniqlo’s official account posted the news.

That certainly grabbed the attention.

I apologise in advance if this appears to be yet another way of putting Wimbledon in the shade of football this summer, but summertime is football transfer season. At this time of year, social media is usually awash with football clubs feeding into the madness in an attempt to earn retweets out of their transfer dealings. So would this announcement be akin to a top football club refraining to make their new signing public until he lined up in the team on the first game of the season?

Maybe it’s not quite as dramatic as that – after all, it is just the clothes on the champion’s back – but it is definitely a feat of marketing that ensures that everyone now knows that Federer is (despite his trainers) a Uniqlo athlete. And perhaps most importantly, it’s a great case study in the power of brand logos.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 836 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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