Wimbledon sponsor HSBC USA Bank is activating its sponsorship of Wimbledon in New York City by bringing the grass-court experience to HSBC locations. The grassroots campaign includes appearances by nine-time grand slam champion Monica Seles and former world No. 1-ranked player Jim Courier, who will show up at HSBC branch locations around New York City and play tennis.
Tennis pro Justin Gimelstob will emcee the events while serving as chair umpire. During Wimbledon, street teams in traditional Wimbledon attire will distribute the traditional strawberries and cream Wimbledon fare from HSBC-branded carts at branch locations.
During the tournament, which runs June 23 to July 6, in-store videos will show Wimbledon highlights and “greatest moments.” The bank will also launch a sweepstakes promotion dangling a VIP trip to next year’s Wimbledon tournament–airfare, luxury accommodations, merchandise, included.
Finally, the bank is running a clinic for underprivileged kids on June 24 from the City Parks Foundation hosted by Jim Courier at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens.
Kevin Martin, EVP/personal financial services at HSBC, says this is the first of a multi-year global sponsorship deal.
“Previously, we have done [programs around] golf,” he says, adding that the company’s global footprint includes retail-banking operations in the UK, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and France. He says that in addition to New York, there will be efforts in six other countries including the UK, India and countries in the Middle East.
He says the bank has by far its most branches–some 400–in New York State, including 114 retail stores in the five boroughs of New York City. He says the company will expand in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Martin says Wimbledon is popular in the U.S. “Roughly half of the activity on Wimbledon.org is from North American fans. The great thing about tennis is its appeal scales single people and families and all levels of affluence. From our perspective, tennis reflects well on diversity, competition, personal values, some intense competitive game playing and strong spirit overcoming the tension of the moment.”