One Championships, two weeks, one Debate, six topics, 20 live broadcasts, 13 videos, 4 presenters, hundreds of tennis stats, two champions, a great team & me.
The past 6 weeks has been the toughest and best part of my career to date. As part of the advertising team I was always going to have a heavy involvement in our Wimbledon campaign which gets a lot of focus every year. IBM is the technology and innovation partner for the club so it’s a fantastic case study of our technology which we really make the most of.
In addition to this I was asked to manage the production of a daily piece of video content that Wimbledon deliver for us throughout The Championships. Last year it was a 3/4min piece to camera with Annabelle Croft & Pat Cash – this year they wanted to do it live on The Wimbledon Channel. “Sure” I said when Sam Seddon (Wimbledon Client Manager) asked me about it. Inside I was bricking it for a number of reasons, two being that I’ve never done live broadcasting before AND I’m possibly the worst tennis player ever which means that I’m only very familiar with it during this particular time of year.
The run up to the Champs was a tough session of organising a number of filming projects, social media plans, a google search strategy, getting WW approvals on stuff, planning messaging and more. I spent a day with the production company IMG to plan graphics style for the content that would sit on a huge touch screen (see photos below) and our presenters would present from. I had no clue how it was going to pan out, what the presenters would be like and how everything would go. In addition to that daily broadcast we had Facebook live in the queue with the Telegraph as part of our media partnership which I was to attend and manage on alternate days!
Day 1 – anxiety levels were high, I had no idea what to expect and if things would work out the way we had hoped. Weirdly it all went to plan as far as a day 1 can do. Daily debate was wayyyy too long but that was easily fixed for the future sessions. The next two weeks was a blur of early starts, live filming, social media copy writing, ensuring we had all the videos we needed to share, script writing and a dash of tennis when I got the chance. Having made friends with Sue Thearle (BBC World Service Presenter) during our Facebook Lives in the Queue, she invited me up to her commentary box on Centre Court, so I saw an hours worth of the Andy Murray match that first Friday from the surreal high up view commentators have – amazing! On the final day I was lucky enough to see the first two sets of the Men’s Final on Centre Court.
14 long, 12 hours + days with one day off in the middle was intense, but it was exciting and a real challenge. I’ve never helped produced live broadcasts, I’ve never changed my paid social media plans daily and I’ve never managed a full search strategy from scratch before. I’ve built good relationships with my WW colleagues which has allowed us to share more content on the “IBM” master brand organic social channels and having met the man behind the IBM Sports social (shout out to LogJam) I’ve made a couple of appearances in videos or as a hand model haha!
We’ll be reviewing results this next couple of weeks, so I really hope all our hard work has paid off. Outside of my intense two weeks, Kate and Cheryl have been working tirelessly too, plus The Punnet social media team working on sharing the debate out across organic social channels and with our Subjects Matter Experts! Sam Seddon headed it all up with teams of technical and tennis experts making Wimbledon happen onsite and on digital platforms all over the world!
Such a privilege to work on this project – fingers crossed for next year!