Advertising Age: Brands Take Hi-Tech to Tennis at Wimbledon Championships

Wearable Tech, Oculus Rift and Shazam Boost Fan Engagement

By Emma Hall

Brands including Stella Artois, Jaguar and Evian are taking hi-tech to that most traditional British summertime event, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Jaguar is handing out biometric wearable devices to spectators on the two main courts at Wimbledon, as well as to crowds watching matches on a big screen in the grounds.

The devices are being used to measure energy and excitement levels around the tournament. An infographic -- created from the data captured -- will be beamed live across digital billboards at key London locations including Piccadilly Circus, and featured on social media feeds and a dedicated website.

A team from Mindshare U.K., which is leading the campaign, is analyzing and visualizing the data to keep the content fresh, looking at how the matches, players, crucial points -- and even the weather -- affect the energy levels, heart rates and mood of the crowd. The website also updates scores and schedules, as well as running highlights, news, player interviews, and radio commentary.

Stella Artois and Mother, meanwhile, have built on the "Perfect Flight" TV commercial – which features Rufus the hawk, a real bird of prey employed by Wimbledon to keep pesky pigeons at bay – using Oculus Rift to give tennis fans a chance to experience the sensation of flying like a hawk over the grounds of Wimbledon.

Commuters at Waterloo station in London can immerse themselves in the full experience with the help of a pop-up simulator that offers a multi-sensory "flight." Thanks to drone technology, participants can look to all sides and see their own wings flapping as they swoop over the grass courts, feeling the wind in their feathers while they watch historic matches taking place beneath them.

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