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SPONSORSHIP NEWS: IBM game and set for Wimbledon

 IBM is sponsoring Wimbledon this
summer for the 19th consecutive year
IBM has struck a deal with the FT to sponsor its ‘Business of Tennis' supplement ahead of this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament.

The deal is part of a wider marketing campaign the IT giant is launching to promote its 19th consecutive sponsorship of the Grand Slam competition.

The supplement, which will be published on June 23 to coincide with the first day of the tournament, will be accompanied by a series of online ads on, designed to drive traffic to IBM's dedicated Wimbledon microsite, which is due to launch later this week.

As part of its wider campaign to promote the sponsorship deal, IBM has also implemented a raft of new features on the official Wimbledon website, including a ‘slam tracker' which allows users to follow the trajectory of the ball during games in real time. Last year, the site attracted over eight million users worldwide.

As in previous years, IBM will use its presence at this year's tournament to showcase its range of technology services to a global audience. New for this year are a speed of serve radar display and a video wall installation which will allow IBM guests to interact with the tournament by selecting what they want to see on the screen. IBM first introduced the walls last year, but only at external sites such as Heathrow and Manchester airports.

Alan Flack, branding manager for IBM UK, says that the aim this year is to "upgrade the whole experience" for its 1000 corporate visitors. "The aim is to take customers behind the scenes, so that they leave with a greater knowledge of what IBM technology is capable of doing," he says.

Although Wimbledon's organisers allow only minimal courtside branding, IBM's logo will also appear on selected graphics during televised footage throughout the two-week competition.

This week IBM is giving away tickets to the Wimbledon Championship finals on London-based radio station LBC, under a deal it has struck with the talk radio station to target mid-market businesses with a series of promotions and podcasts this summer.

Last year, IBM's own dedicated Wimbledon website attracted 76,000 unique users with an average dwell time of 1.47 minutes. "That's not bad for a B2B site," comments Flack.

This year's Wimbledon tournament runs from June 23 to July 6.

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