Lavazza Baristas Wake Up Wimbledon Players & Fans


Italian coffee outfit Lavazza became the official coffee sponsor of the 2011 All England Club Lawn Tennis Championships. Adding Wimbledon to its other sponsorships which include the 2011 Slow Food Campaign and backing the ’50 Best Restaurants in the World’ awards.


To amplify the sponsorship, the brand was busy around the venue through the tournament with 200 machines installed at the club, offering free sample coffee drinks to tennis fans in need of a pick-me-up and training their new Wimbledon baristas how to make the perfect espresso.


The UK campaign integrated traditional PR, corporate hospitality, experiential, digital, broadcast and celebrity engagement, as well as press and outdoor activity, in-store competitions with selected outlets and sampling for Wimbledon spectators.


Lavazza will also communicate its partnership of Wimbledon through a European wide print, outdoor and online media advertising campaign. In addition, Lavazza has also launched a new, global website dedicated to the partnership.


The brand also released a YouTube video of former Wimbledon tennis stars Pat Cash and Annabel Croft playing games and drinking coffee at the Lavazza area of the famous Wimbledon queue!


A Lavazza team trained 600 staff to make the perfect espresso, cappuccino, latte, filter and iced coffees in 60 outlets – from ¬restaurants and kiosks to the players’ lounge. Restaurants will use limited edition china cups and saucers bearing the All England Club and Lavazza logo, and a yellow, tennis ball shaped lid to keep the coffee hot. Takeaways will use cardboard cups in ¬Wimbledon’s familiar green and purple livery.


To promote and share their sponsorship experience, the marketing team uploaded a short video (see below) showcasing their experience so far.


The deal and its activation is perhaps the coffee family firm’s most aggressive UK campaign to date. It has also been designed specifically to score points off Nestle rival Nespresso.


Last year Nespresso sales jumped 20% to reach £3.17bn, versus ¬Lavazza’s own £1bn turnover. despite the fact that it was Lavazza who actually pioneered capsule coffee for espresso machines at home back in 1987. While Nespresso is fronted by big name Hollywood stars George Clooney and John ¬Malkovich, up until now Lavazza has let its coffee do the talking. But perhaps this will begin to change with the three-year Wimbledon deal.


Giuseppe Lavazza, vice president and strategic marketing director, said, ‘We decided to become a partner because tennis, and Wimbledon’s values, are so consistent with Lavazza’s – amongst them the heritage, tradition, authenticity and an excellent experience.


In Italy, Lavazza is as iconic in terms of coffee as Wimbledon is for tennis in the UK. Coffee is very much part of the social fabric of life and Wimbledon is a major social occasion, as well as a world class tennis event. Wimbledon is the beacon of good taste and like Wimbledon we are all about heritage, quality and excellence so its a perfect partnership’.


Lavazza hopes to raise its profile at the tournament in the same way its deal with Wetherspoon pubs brought top-notch coffee to the masses. The sponsorship is part of a wider effort to convert a nation of British tea drinkers to coffee and this strategy will see the brand launch of an affordable Electrolux coffee machine small enough to sit in the corner of the kitchen.




The Wimbledon deal adds to Lavazza’s other prestigious international partnerships across sport, culture and the arts, which range from the 1998 FIFA World Cup to its ongoing backing of London Fashion Week.


With food and drinks sponsors now ranging from Evian to Lavazza, the Wimbledon sponsorship portfolio is expanding. Yet, despite awards and positive feedback both from the marketing world and tennis fans it is a tough challenge for these brands to cut through at the world’s top tennis tournament which in this sector has so long been associated with strawberries and cream, Pimms and Robinsons.


Indeed, it should come as no surprise that Lavazza’s most popular drink at the tournament in 2011 was not its plain coffee offering, but rather its own special take on the strawberries & cream classic – a strawberry flavoured coffee slushie, topped with cream. Proving that if you can’t beat them, join them.







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