As Wimbledon’s lush green courts resound with the familiar thud of tennis balls, a different kind of competition is emerging, one that’s uniting the worlds of traditional sports and digital gaming. The central figure in this fascinating fusion is none other than the British tennis stalwart Andy Murray, who’s embarking on a dual battle both on the hallowed turf of Wimbledon and the vibrant, chaotic landscapes of the popular game Fortnite. This intriguing journey, aptly titled the “Race to Wimbledon,” is a part of the American Express Fan Experience, creating a fascinating mix of Fortnite and live sports.
Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champion, is known for his prowess on the court, but now he’s proving his mettle in the field of virtual gaming too. After successfully clearing his first hurdle against Ryan Peniston on Tuesday, he’s turning his attention to the “Race to Wimbledon,” a novel, interactive game developed on Fortnite Creative as part of the American Express Fan Experience.
Through this unique collaboration, the Fortnite community is treated to an exciting, virtually rendered tour of London’s famed landmarks, along with the illustrious Wimbledon Village and its grounds. The challenge is simple, yet thrilling: be the first to reach the hallowed Centre Court and claim victory. Murray stars in not one but three such interactive games, cementing his status as both a real-world and digital champion.
The American Express Fan Experience doesn’t end there. Guests are invited to participate in the game “Find Andy,” which ingeniously turns the tennis grounds into a colossal piece of artwork where the digital version of Murray is playfully concealed. In addition to this, fans can enjoy a range of other experiences including trainer cleaning by Jason Markk and the chance to send personalized postcards from the onsite postcard station to loved ones anywhere in the world.
In the Cardmember Lounge, fashion lovers can indulge in personalizing their products and accessories from Ralph Lauren, the American fashion heavyweight. This customization station showcases two exclusive designs that are only available in the lounge, elevating the exclusive factor of this gaming and sporting event.
Even off the Wimbledon grounds, the spirit of this sporting event is being emulated at the Centurion Lounge at Heathrow Airport. Fans can expect the same trainer cleaning service, Sipsmith cocktails, and other giveaways, ensuring the Wimbledon magic doesn’t fade even when they’re in transit.
Last year, Murray partnered with celebrity nail artist Michelle Humphrey and co-designed four limited-edition nail styles that perfectly encapsulated the spirit of tennis games. These designs included symbols like strawberries and cream, tennis balls, and tennis nets, all rendered in Wimbledon’s iconic purple and green colors.
Amid all these innovations, one particular change stands out at Wimbledon 2023: a revised dress code. For the first time, female players can wear dark-colored undershorts, a significant step forward in easing period-related anxiety among players. These undergarments, however, must still conform to Wimbledon’s established rules and cannot exceed the length of their skirts or tennis shorts.
© Photos: American Express & Fortnite
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