The All England Lawn Tennis Club has today announced its entry into the online gaming platform Fortnite, with the launch of Race to Wimbledon.

The announcement is accompanied by an array of digital experiences for Wimbledon fans that have been released, including new features on its Roblox experience WimbleWorld, a new gamified tennis app Wimbledon Smash, and a collaboration with leading mobile game Tennis Clash.

Players of Race to Wimbledon – which is presented in partnership with Amercian Express – will run, drive, parkour and fly past London landmarks, including Big Ben and the London Eye, through Wimbledon village and past Andy Murray’s golden letterbox, navigating around larger-than-life obstacles such as giant strawberries and tennis rackets, to make it to Wimbledon’s Centre Court in the fastest time. As well as on all the usual devices, the game will be available to play on-site throughout The Championships at the American Express Fan Experience in the Southern Village. As part of the experience, players are challenged to beat the time of American Express ambassador Andy Murray and post their time to social media.

Entry into Fortnite is part of Wimbledon’s ongoing expansion into the digital sphere, evolving the brand beyond traditional expectations. Commenting on the strategy behind the digital activations,  All England Club digital products lead Chris Clements said, “The magic of Wimbledon has reached many generations of fans in every corner of the world. With changes in the way people consume content and interact with sports events, it is important that we find new ways to reach them and convey what makes Wimbledon so special. We believe this range of initiatives, including Race to Wimbledon, will help us achieve this ambition.”

In 2022, the All England Club launched the experience WimbleWorld on the metaverse platform Roblox, receiving more than 12 million visits. With more than 80 per cent of users aged under 24, the experience remains one of the most visited official sports experiences on Roblox. Building on 2022’s success, new additions to excite players on the experience will be rolled out from Tuesday, 27 June onwards. These include the Lawn of Champions, where players can try their hand at preparing the famous grass courts of SW19, by mowing and painting the lines on the courts. There is a treasure hunt where players can earn a hawk to sit on the shoulder of their avatar across all Roblox experiences. Live scores will feature in the experience, a first for Roblox.

All England Club marketing and commercial director Usama Al-Qassab said, “The scale of Fortnite and Roblox with more than 200 million players each, and the enjoyment these players experience through digital initiatives like Race to Wimbledon and WimbleWorld, will help Wimbledon reach new audiences in even more immersive ways than ever before.”

New for 2023, Wimbledon has rebranded and updated its gamified tennis experience app, now known as Wimbledon Smash. The Wimbledon Smash game sees players control a racket to “serve” a tennis ball and break as many bricks as possible, with rain, wind and surprise items affecting the game. The app features a year-round “campaign” mode, where players can train and progress through different levels. On 3 July, a Championships mode will be launched in line with the commencement of the Wimbledon Fortnight. Those who reach the top 10 on the leaderboard will be eligible to win prizes such as semi-final tickets for The Championships 2024 and a range of items from the Wimbledon Shop. For the first time, Wimbledon is giving fans the opportunity to have their name displayed just feet away from the famous Centre Court, as the game’s leaderboard will be shown on screens around the Grounds between 3 and 16 July. Fans simply need to register within the game to have this opportunity. 

During The Championships, fans can also take part in Wimbledon season on Tennis Clash, a popular tennis mobile gaming app. Players will be dressed in a special white match kit and be able to take to the famous grass of Centre Court.