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SBD Global/July 9, 2012/Events and Attractions

Murray Win In Wimbledon Final Would Have Been Worth Millions In Sponsorship

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, right, speaks with sister, Pippa Middleton, in the Royal Box at Wimbledon Sunday.
A win by Andy Murray at Wimbledon could have helped the Scot "take his earnings from sponsorship deals up to £100M ($155M) in the future," according to Philipson & Kinder of the London TELEGRAPH. Experts predicted he could branch out into clothing lines or health clubs. An agent who manages one of Britain’s top sports stars said, “This match could easily mean £100M ($155M) for Murray. All of Murray’s current contracts will have substantial bonuses for being the Wimbledon champion. I would imagine most of them would contain a clause with a £1M ($1.5M) bonus (TELEGRAPH, 7/8). In London, Youde & Cahalan said that a victory could have made Murray "the country's highest-paid sportsman." Brand Rapport Dir Nigel Currie said Murray "could comfortably expect to quadruple his current annual off-court earnings of up to £5M ($7.7M)" with a win. Currie: "Essentially tennis is one of the few genuinely global sports, so if he wins Wimbledon he will become much more of a global face than he is at the moment and he'll start attracting the major global brands." PR expert Max Clifford said winning Wimbledon would put Murray into the "David Beckham category" (INDEPENDENT, 7/8).

ONE THAT GOT AWAY: In London, Kinder wrote Virgin Group Chair Richard Branson revealed "that his health clubs turned down the chance to support Andy Murray." Branson posted the story on his blog and referred to Murray as "the one that got away." Murray, and his mother Judy Murray, approached Virgin Active to ask for sponsorship nine years ago, but the chain of health clubs did not want to back the Scot.  Branson's post reads: " The one that got away! A 16-year-old tennis player and his mum came to see me in Oxford a few years ago to ask if Virgin Active would sponsor him. We had a wonderful lunch but couldn't get enough support from our health clubs. The tennis player was Andy Murray" (TELEGRAPH, 7/8).

ROYAL BOX RUNNETH OVER: Also in London, Jack Malvery wrote each of the inhabitants of the Royal Box "had his or her own way of cheering on Andy Murray" in the Wimbledon final. The Duchess of Cambridge "giggled and clapped," U.K. PM David Cameron "chewed his lower lip" and London mayor Boris Johnson "joyfully slapped his thigh while roaring his approval." Only Victoria Beckham "was able to meet triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same." Her phlegmatic response to the drama unfolding on Centre Court was matched only by Ivan Lendl, Murray’s coach. The Royal Box was "so filled with cousins of the Queen, politicans and former Wimbledon champions" that many celebs had to sit in the public areas. Knights kept out of the Royal Box included ManU Manager Alex Ferguson, and singer Cliff Richard. Other public figures included actors Stephen Fry and Jude Law, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and Michael Ballack, the German footballer. Three members of the Middleton family watched alongside Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Pippa Middleton applauded from the Royal Box while Michael and Carole, the Duchess’s parents, were in the public area (LONDON TIMES, 7/9). Former ESPN president George Bodenheimer made it into the box, sitting right behind Kate and Pippa (James Andrew Miller ‏@ESPNBook).

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