Friday, June 28, 2013

The Wimbledon Effect

Every summer, a phenomenon known as the "Wimbledon Effect" comes into effect as a result of the most historic grand slam tournament held in London. The tournament takes place on the legendary grass courts of the All England Tennis and Croquet Club. As imagined, Wimbledon has a booming effect on tourism in London during which the two-week tournament occurs. However, "the Wimbledon effect" is primarily associated with increased membership in athletic clubs as a direct result of the tournament.

Similar to the way New Year’s resolutions translate to crowded gyms for the first two weeks of January before digressing, Wimbledon has a similar effect on club sport participation. Not only pertinent to tennis and prestigious tennis clubs in England, “the Wimbledon effect”, is also witnessed around the world regarding golf tournaments and the Olympic games. Similar to how membership levels will return to normal, the economic boosts provided by such sporting events will also return to normal.

That is unfortunate because below are cited benefits of participating in sports:
  • General fun and enjoyment
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Development of skills (motor, strategic thinking, leadership)
  • Regular exercise, helps relieve stress
("Understanding the Wimbledon Effect")

The true mystery behind “the Wimbledon effect” is how this trend has transformed into an annual phenomenon despite Englanders having great success at Wimbledon itself. Since the start of the Open Era, only Ann Haydon Jones (1969) and Virginia Wad (1977) are the only two British players to win Wimbledon. Interestingly enough, “the Wimbledon effect” concept has transpired over the years to be recognized as an economics term, to help explain an inexplicable set of circumstances.

As per the code, only two British players remain in the completion, Andy Murray, local hero, and Laura Robson, a youthful bright spot for Britain. The only question remains, when Wimbledon is finished, how much will the economic and participation levels increase this year with many of tennis’ high profiled players already eliminated from the tournament including the likes of Federer, Nadal, and Sharapova. Will a Murray or Robson victory ignite the All England Club and surrounding clubs to new heights? 


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