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Will 2012 serve up burgers and fries at Wimbledon?

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Adrian Warner | 15:58 UK time, Friday, 13 August 2010

A Wimbledon tennis tournament without Pimms...but with McDonalds burgers and fries?

The "Wimbledon Green" make-up of the SW19 complex replaced by the reds and pinks of the London 2012 logo?

And the players ditching their traditional whites for colourful kit?

Could it really happen at the 2012 Olympics? And what would the conservative world of British tennis make of it all?

I was down at Wimbledon today and there's no doubt the 2012 organisers want to change the face of the famous tennis club for the Olympic tournament.

They are planning to dress up the tournament with the brighter colours of the Olympic logo and mascots. So goodbye to that ubiquitous dark green.

The courts won't change that much although you can expect the Olympic rings to be woven into the nets.

But players won't have to wear whites for the Games, 2012 sports director Debbie Jevans told me. You can see my interview with her here.

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But there's no guarantee of getting a glass of Pimms at the 2012 tournament because Olympic sponsors and drinks will rule the complex.

That means McDonalds in principle could sell burgers there and Coca-Cola is likely to be everywhere.

It's a smaller tournament with fewer players and fewer spectators. But maybe it's a good idea to make the Olympic tournament very different from Wimbledon which will finish just 20 days before the Games event starts. It might bring in a younger audience.

What do you think?

Is it OK to ditch years of tradition for a special Olympic tournament?

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Tennis at the Olympics is a bit of a sideshow anyway. Its not taken that seriously by those who take part as the US Open is usually their focus and to be honest it will be again in 2012.

    I'm not trying to deride it, but it won't have the same atmosphere as the normal tournament or prestige for the players

  • Comment number 2.

    Just 20 days for top tennis players to recover? The world sports are usually much diminshed at the Olympics; Rugby fives, football with age limits, twenty20 cricket one day perhaps. Which would you rather win ... a football World Cup winners medal or a toy town football gold medal?

    Often top stars are missing and it certainly isn't the competition they really want to win.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's inevitable that the Olympics will bring it's own branding and sponsorship to all the venues.

    However this should be done sensitively and IMO the games will be enhanced by incorporating the traditions at the historic venues. If everything that is associated with Wimbledon is covered or lost then the tournament could be anywhere.

    The bid team played by the mixture of new and traditional venues so it would be a mistake to completely remove all traditional elements.

  • Comment number 4.

    Probably a good idea to change some things for the Olympics otherwise there is a complete danger of it being regarded as a poor man's Wimbledon.

    Have to agree with others though that Olympic Tennis is a bit of a sideshow - certainly when I buy tickets for 2012 Tennis will be pretty much at the bottom of the list as I just don't believe it means as much to the players as it does in the main Olympic sports like Athletics, Swimming, Cycling etc.

  • Comment number 5.

    Adrian, during your interview with Debbie Evans above, you seemed to be missing the point. It's not going to be Wimbledon; it's going to be the Olympic Games, with all that entails, sponsorship, different colours, etc etc.

    You really did labour the point about Macdonalds too much.

    It should be totally different and not a carbon copy of Wimbledon; hopefully the atmosphere will be like a Davis cup match and maybe encourage more young people to take up tennis. Wimbledon is great but can be too stuffy at times; make it as different as possible as far as I'm concerned.

  • Comment number 6.

    Ofcourse it's only right the Olympics should have it's own identity but it will be very nteresting to discover what the actual costs will be to re-dress the whole of the All England Club for what will be after all a much smaller tournament player number wise..hope they don't go over the top with it? Will the new nets etc find a good home post-event? Will the public be able to buy pieces of memorabilia?

    Also, if 'Wimbledon' the Grand-Slam event finishes just 20 days earlier will the grass recover in time or will it be relayed? Hope you get some answers Adrian?...only just saw the blog - so my questions are a bit late ;)

  • Comment number 7.

    > Will the public be able to buy pieces of memorabilia?

    If the Vancouver 2010 Games are any indicator, the answer is an emphatic 'YES'.

    All the "left-overs", from 30-meter-wide-by-2-meter-tall Olympic banners that covered kilometers of temporary security-fencing, to Acer LCD screens and computers, to unused volunteer uniforms & backpacks & whistles & wrist-watches, it will all be sold.

    The principle is that destroying the stuff is bad for the enviroment, especially when some money can be recouped by selling it to the public.

    See: http://www.BCAuction.CA for the "Vancouver 2010 Assets" category.
    Anybody can STILL bid on these items, many months after the Games.
    Of course, shipping from British Columbia might be expensive. :-)

  • Comment number 8.

    Wimbledon is known as the best tennis tournament because of its unique characteristics such as an all white dress code, strawberries and cream, and no on court product placement. For someone passionate about tennis, I would say this is very distasteful. The Olympics is special in its own way and so is Wimbledon, why mix the two historical events together? It is not going to work!

 

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