Wimbledon 2016 continued on from the social media success of the previous year’s tournament, led by real-time video highlights. Grabyo worked with the All England Club for the third consecutive year in 2016, generating more than 50.5 million video views, with content ranging from instant highlights to live streaming across Facebook and Twitter. The high number of video views and impressions – the Championships’ social video content generated over a quarter of a billion impressions – were a combination of exceptional play, lobs, trick-shots, exciting knockouts…and more than a few tears.
Wimbledon is the pride of Britain and this year it summed up everything quintessentially British: tennis, Pimms, strawberries and cream… and rain. The rain resulted in People’s Sunday, as for only the fourth time in Wimbledon history, there was play on the Middle Sunday. Twenty-two thousand tickets were sold out in twenty-seven minutes, highlighting the love for the event and the demand to part of the atmosphere. For those unable to attend, Wimbledon’s social video content brought the SW16 experience to a global audience; an experience that included the first ever wheelchair singles tournament and a rain refund for fans for one of the wettest days in Championships history on the first Wednesday…
However, it was not necessarily the play or the wheelchair singles that took centre court on Wimbledon’s Facebook, Twitter pages and digital platforms. It was, in fact, the trick shots, match celebrations and the unpredictable outcome of this year's order of play. Last year, David Beckham’s impressive catch in the Royal Box took the crown for the highest clip views, yet Djokovic’s victory fell short of the mark by almost six million views. This year, it was a different story. Grabyo helped bring instant highlights from each day of play to Wimbledon’s social platforms, which boast an impressive 3.5 million likes on Facebook and 2.3 million followers on Twitter. Marcus Willis, the 706th British seed, was the star of the most viewed video clip of this year’s tournament. Willis rose to fame by making it through six qualifying rounds and then beating Ricardas Berankis (ranked 57) and made it onto centre court to face Federer. Willis became an overnight sensation in the media and despite losing in straight sets, his wonderful lob in the first set generated more than 3.5 million views on social media:
Willis’ video also drew attention to the dominance that Facebook holds in social video and the increasing importance of live.
Interestingly, whilst only 9% of videos shared by Wimbledon over The Championships were live streams, 22% of video views were generated from live streaming output on Facebook. Player walk-ons, behind-the-scenes footage and victory celebrations were all broadcast via Facebook Live using Grabyo, including Serena Williams record-equalling 7th singles title victory generating over 2.5 million video views.
That was not the only clip from the player with 22 Grand Slams to her name. Serena’s phenomenal 25 shot really was watched 1.6 million times and will no doubt be viewed many more times in the aftermath of the tournament.
Aside from Willis’ lob and Serena’s dominance, there were many defining moments that generated huge discussion on social media thanks to the action being shared via video to these platforms. Djokovic’s shock defeat to Querrey, where Querrey’s celebration claimed 1.8 million views, Kyrgios tweener lob generated 1.4 million views and Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid winning the men’s wheelchair doubles with more than 700k.
Wimbledon 2016 at the All England Club highlights the growing role that Facebook plays in the video market and is testament to the work of the progressive, forward-thinking team at Wimbledon that have turned a traditional tennis Championships into leading the way in modern social media strategy and video distribution.
Last year it was celebrity catches and Federer’s trick shots that led the way for Wimbledon, this year it was a combination of fantastic lobs, unexpected defeats and live footage of Serena and Murray celebrating their victories. In 2017 – who knows?