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Monday, 23rd June 2008
In Japan Sports News,

Wimbledon fever grips Japan

Wimbledon may seem like the quintessentially British sporting occasion, but in Japan tennis fever is gripping the nation and putting the UK to shame, according to reports.

The Guardian reports that last year around 350,000 pairs of branded Wimbledon sports shoes were snapped up by Japanese shoppers.

In the UK, sales of similar shows rank in the low four figures.

Regular "Wimbledon fairs" are held exhibiting Wimbledon-related merchandise. The last fair attracted in the region of 14,000 people.

Roger McCowen, marketing director at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, commented: "Merchandising is very small in the context of the income from our TV rights and our big official suppliers, but the difference is in the geographical reach, the 52-week awareness, the brand extension."

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Wimbledon brand generates around £26 million in revenue for the club. The club also has licensing deals with 26 global companies.