PR to raise profile of Wimbledon museum

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum (WLTM) has taken on external PR help for the first time in its 25-year history.

The museum, which is situated next door to Wimbledon's centre court, has turned to local agency Grasshopper PR to run a year-long programme to raise its profile as a tourist destination.

Wimbledon-based Grasshopper won the contract after a non-competitive pitch with a remit to raise awareness of the museum and its attractions and reinforce the message that it is open year-round and not just during the annual tennis tournament, which concludes this weekend.

WLTM commercial manager Ashley Jones said: 'We have always felt that museum news gets a little swamped by the Championship news and this is a chance to change that.'

The museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has introduced a number of new attractions, including an art gallery, audio-visual theatre and behind-the-scenes tours.

Jones said: 'While we have done a bit of marketing, advance bookings have not been as high as they should be and we feel PR is a cost-effective way to promote the attraction.'

Grasshopper will target schools and day-trippers in the UK, alongside overseas tourists - which make up 75 per cent of the museum's visitor numbers.

Jones said in domestic terms, the campaign will focus on the south-east of England, in particular Kent and Essex.

Grasshopper will also work to reach the corporate audience in a bid to raise the museum's profile as an events venue.

The museum's recently opened art gallery and theatre double up as corporate venues with a capacity for around 200 people.

Grasshopper director Sarah Francis heads a team of four on the brief, reporting to Jones.

WLTM features a collection of memorabilia, photos and art depicting the history of lawn tennis, alongside outfits worn by tennis stars such as Venus Williams.

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