One of the Club's key objectives is to enhance the unique character and image of The Championships by keeping our courts and grounds relatively free of commercial sponsorship and product placement, hence the lack of overt advertising around the Grounds.
This helps to give the event and the Wimbledon brand a special resonance that TV and commercial companies around the world wish to be associated with, and enables the Club to derive revenue which goes towards the funding of The Championships and British tennis.
Over the years, however, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of free unauthorised commercial advertising material, which is distributed to the Wimbledon queue and ticket holders in order to obtain free advertising in our grounds or on television.
This practice is known as 'ambush marketing' and often consists of free sun hats, free rain capes, free umbrellas, free suntan creams, free radios, free water bottles, etc., all bearing heavily branded commercial messages. It is an issue on which the Olympics, the Masters Golf at Augusta and many international sporting events have had to take a firm stance by confiscating such branded items at entry point.
We feel a similar approach is justified and will either temporarily confiscate those items which we know or have reason to believe are part of an ambush marketing campaign, or refuse entry to spectators who are not prepared to surrender such items. Spectators are perfectly entitled to leave them at Left Luggage and collect them at the end of the day should they wish to.
We do, however, have no issue with spectators who bring their own branded food and beverage into the Grounds, for example, items which have been purchased from normal retail outlets. Similarly, branded clothing purchased for normal personal use, with no obvious 'ambush' potential, is entirely acceptable.
Equally, we do our best to make sure that our security staff are fully conversant with the issue and are able to apply the policy with tact, common sense and good judgement.