How Wimbledon chose Brooklyn for its official watch party

And 6,000 tennis fans have a grand time

July 11, 2022 Mary Frost
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London’s iconic Henman Hill was recreated in Brooklyn Bridge Park over the past weekend — down to the white picket fences and strawberries & cream — for the Wimbledon tennis championships.  

Hundreds of spectators brought picnics and relaxed on beach towels, some decorated with the Union Jack, to watch the tennis matches on a giant screen on Liberty Lawn at Pier 6. On the other side of the pond, royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were simultaneously enjoying the same event. Cheers from fans of both nations echoed across the southern end of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Like their British counterparts, aficionados in Brooklyn enjoyed traditional finger sandwiches, scones, the classic Wimbledon strawberries & cream — and gin cocktails from Sipsmith, “The Official Gin of Wimbledon’s.” 

Wimbledon is one of the world’s most prestigious Grand Slams and one of the oldest, dating from 1877. It is the only remaining tennis championship played on grass, hence the name “lawn tennis.” 

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The semi-finals took place Friday. The women’s final was played Saturday, and men’s final on Sunday. Elena Rybakina, representing Kazakhstan, beat Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in three sets to win the women’s singles title. Novak Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios in four sets to win the men’s. 

A tennis-loving crowd fills Liberty Lawn at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sunday to watch the men’s finals at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon is an event sponsored by the All England Lawn Tennis Club, a private club founded in 1868. (Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge is the club’s Patron.)

“The Hill in New York was an event that the All England Lawn Tennis Club wanted to bring here to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and we thought people would really enjoy it and that Brooklyn Bridge Park would be a fantastic host site location,” said Park spokesperson Sarah Krauss. 

“We chose Brooklyn because it was an iconic destination — with the Manhattan skyline, and also the perfect place to recreate The Hill as authentically as we could,” Alexandra Willis, spokesperson and marketing director at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, told the Brooklyn Eagle. 

Serious Wimbledon fans spread out beach towels decorated with the Union Jack on a specially-constructed viewing hill topped with turf for the occasion.

“This was the first time we have done this — but absolutely the intention is to grow it for future years and go to different locations as well!” Willis added.

Marketing company Momentum Worldwide made the event happen, Krauss said. Rather than merely staging a watch party, Momentum tried to recreate the Wimbledon experience. Even the route through the park to The Hill was lined with archway trellises festooned with flowers. 

Flower-bedecked trellises were erected along the path to the lawn by Wimbledon’s marketing company Momentum Worldwide.

Tickets to the event were free to those who won the random ballot, and walk-ins were accepted as space allowed. According to Aine Dowdall, account manager for Consumer Brands at BCW Global, a global communications agency, about 6,000 people attended the Brooklyn event over the three days.

Sponsors of the event included American Express, IBM, Ralph Lauren, HSBC, Babolat, and Sipsmith.

London’s Henman Hill was recreated in Brooklyn Bridge Park over the weekend — down to the white picket fences. Tennis enthusiasts watched the tennis finals at Wimbledon live on a large screen.
Tennis fans posed with tennis rackets in front of a photo booth.
The Sipsmith gin company provided the “Official Gin of Wimbledon.”

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