You can’t escape the tennis at Wimbledon right now, unless you go off-grid in a Siberian snowhole. And even then you might run into Maria Sharapova.
If you have been watching the highly paid bat-and-ball-based antics, you might have noticed the players chucking their official tournament towels into the crowd at the end of their matches.
A ten-way fight then ensues among the spectators, who each presumably take home a tiny scrap of fabric to remind them of their day at the world’s premier tennis event.
This, apparently, drives the Wimbledon Committee bonkers. It seems that this generosity by the players is costing the All-England Club a small fortune, with latest reports suggesting that up to 4,000 Wimbledon towels remain unaccounted for at the end of The Championships.
The Committee says that it expects to retain only about 25% of the 6,000 towels that start the fortnight. It seems that any that don’t end up in row three get taken home by players to be dished out willy-nilly. Or possibly sold on eBay (depending how much prize money they took home).
In fact, the All England Club has this year resorted to offering junior players plain white towels, to deter them from joining in with the towel chucking and pilfering.
And now, the venerable, handlebar-moustachioed chaps from the Committee have struck back in another way, too.
It seems they’ve instructed official Wimbledon towel supplier Christy to make the items publicly available on their global website, where towel fans can even have their purchases personalised with the addition of monogrammed initials.
Honey Wilson-Artus, Head of eCommerce and Marketing at Christy, said: “The site provides us with the platform to really differentiate our brand in the market and to support our plans going forward. We’re really excited about rolling out the personalisation aspect to the wider collection in the near future.”
That could, of course, be marketing-speak for, “We’re really desperate to monetise the last remaining product and cut our losses. So please buy one.”
Just a thought.