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The Championships: Upholding London’s global reputation and providing an exemplar model of community and business engagement


Wimbledon

Wimbledon is more than just a tennis tournament; it represents a cultural phenomenon that captivates spectators, boosts local businesses and fosters a sense of community spirit.

As one of the world’s most prestigious and most-watched sporting events, The Championships offer an unrivalled platform for promoting London to a global audience. For two weeks of the year at the height of summer, as millions of spectators tune in to watch the sporting extravaganza, London has the opportunity to showcase its excellence, projecting a positive and multifaceted image of the city to the world which enhances the city’s reputation, drives tourism and creates business opportunities. Indeed, over 75% of spectators at The Championships feel that attending the event enhanced their image of London as a visitor destination.

The economic and business impact of Wimbledon is the most significant of any annual sporting event held in the capital, bringing in £74 million for the local boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth and £200 million for London, a figure set to increase to just under £270 million for London in 2031.

Wimbledon’s approach to local business engagement is excellent and something London should seek to replicate with other global events. Recognising that The Championships bring significant footfall to the local area, engaging with the local business community to actively encourage the participation of restaurants, pubs, and shops in the event is an important angle. This manifests in several ways but most notably is the celebration of The Championships along the high street in Wimbledon Village for the annual window dressing competition – now in its tenth year. In the short-term this adds immediate value to local businesses and enhances the overall experience of Wimbledon for spectators making their way to The Championships, while in the long-term, the collaboration fosters economic growth and strengthens ties between the community, its commercial establishments and The Championships.

Furthermore, the All England Lawn Tennis Club positively connects with the local community through year-round engagement, philanthropic endeavours and charitable initiatives that benefit the local community. Since the Wimbledon Foundation was established in 2013 it has invested a total of £7million into the two boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth, reaching 250,000 people. The Foundation also runs a scheme to help local residents find jobs at The Championships and providing young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK the opportunity to develop valuable life and leadership skills.

Other major events would do well to take inspiration from The Championships as an example of how a major event can effectively engage the community and local businesses and leaving a lasting positive impact on London’s global reputation.

The London Chamber is delighted to welcome The All England Lawn Tennis Club as a member and we look forward to working with them to maximise the positive impact of The Championships on London and the UK and to continue to showcase London as a leading global city.