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Let’s play! Introducing event gamification to The American Express Fan Experience at Wimbledon

Let’s play! Introducing event gamification to The American Express Fan Experience at Wimbledon

The American Express Fan Experience, an on-site activation located in the Southern Village, gives tennis fans a taste of what makes Wimbledon so unique and memorable.  In 2022, American Express looked to implement an experience that gave fans an opportunity to interact with a participatory game at the iconic tennis tournament. Visitors could also get their trainers professionally cleaned, gain exclusive access to the CardmemberLounge, and have their nails painted in a series of Wimbledon-inspired designs by renowned nail artist, Michelle Humphrey.

Experiential agency, Momentum, who were responsible for creating the experience for Amex, relied on the Anna Valley team to support the technical design and delivery of two interactive games created specifically for the fan experience.  The first of these, ‘Find Andy’ challenged participants to spot tennis great, , Sir Andy Murray OBE, amongst a giant digital artwork of the Wimbledon grounds.   The ‘Centre Court Challenge’ was inspired by Wimbledon’s famously accurate Ball Boys and Girls and saw guests competing to hit a digital target with tennis balls.

Serving up an ace event

The ‘Centre Court Challenge’ also proved the most complex to design and deliver. To create the game, Anna Valley needed to be able to precisely track tennis balls as they were thrown up a ramp and towards the digital target, using a bespoke sensor system that was not available ‘off the shelf.’

After weeks of development and technical collaboration, the solution that the team created utilised a 6×2.5 metre Roe BP2V2 screen to display a target elevated over a raised slope. When tennis balls were rolled up the slope towards the target, they disappeared underneath the screen where an array of 22 sensors precisely measured the accuracy of the throw.  Points were calculated based on the positional data from the sensors and displayed on the leader board.

Precision was key due to the highly sensitive nature of the sensors – dust, movement, and misalignments as small as 3 millimetres could throw them off –  so the solution needed to be thoroughly put through its paces to ensure it was 100% reliable. However, with allocated working hours at Wimbledon, the on-site setup needed to be as efficient as possible so Anna Valley ran a 1000-ball check on the system before the event, with 500 tests completed at their HQ, and a further 500 run on-site at Wimbledon.

Despite the high volume of visitors and record-breaking temperatures experienced in the UK during that time, the technology and technical team stood up to the challenge at Wimbledon 2022.  Of the experience working with Anna Valley, Matthew Martin, integrated producer at Momentum Worldwide says,

The team at Anna Valley are great at taking our concepts and workshopping the best result. We knew we could rely on them to deliver the unique solution we landed on.

Matthew Martin, Momentum Worldwide Integrated producer

Watch Andy Murray take on the Amex Centre Court Challenge