More than 40,000 tennis fans bid to own Wimbledon centenary digital artworks

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is balloting the Centenary Collection – ten digital collages of iconic Wimbledon moments.

An NFT in the Wimbledon Centenary Collection representing the decade 1970-1979 (The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club/PA).
An NFT in the Wimbledon Centenary Collection representing the decade 1970-1979 (The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club/PA).

More than 40,000 people have bid to own digital artworks, known as NFTs, which have been released to mark 100 years of Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) is offering the Centenary Collection – ten collages of iconic Wimbledon moments captured through the years – at £500 each via a public ballot.

Each digital artwork depicts a different decade of Championship moments since 1922, when the tournament relocated from SW19’s Worple Road to Church Road, where the courts are now located.

They include photographs of America’s Serena and Venus Williams in their prime and 17-year-old Maria Sharapova celebrating her win in 2004, while an earlier image shows Fred Perry leaning on the net after victory in 1934.

An NFT in the Wimbledon Centenary Collection representing the decade 1920-1929 (The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club/PA).

This comes one year after the AELTC created a series of blockchain-based collectibles representing Sir Andy Murray’s victory in 2013 which fetched $177,777 at auction – or around £148,000.

Alex Willis, from the AELTC, said the aim this year was to create something for fans to “treasure” rather than view as an investment.

She told the PA news agency: “Our first tiptoe into this space last year was we partnered with Andy and his team to create a collection to celebrate some of his most iconic Wimbledon moments.

“What we’ve tried to do this year is a little bit different – rather than it just being a sale where you can turn up and buy something, it’s a ballot, and that feels very Wimbledon.”

Max Proctor, partnerships manager at Wimbledon, said using NFTs is a way for the traditional tournament to appeal to a modern fanbase and people would be able to display them in their homes.

An NFT in the Wimbledon Centenary Collection representing the decade 2000-2009 (The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club/PA).

He said that, in partnership with fine artists from Glorious Digital, a New Zealand-based online marketplace, Wimbledon has created 1,000 units which if they had been sold at auction would fetch “way more” money than the ballot.

He added that 40,000 people have already signed up for the ballot, which closes on Sunday, and he expects most bidders to be in the age range of 25 to 40.

An NFT is a crypto asset, such as an image, video or text, which people can be certified to own via blockchain.

While anyone can view or download it, only the buyer can claim ownership.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in