Emma Raducanu and Vodafone

Vodafone partners with Emma Raducan as part of Vodafone’s grassroots tennis initiatives

Emma will support the brand’s commitment to help grow grassroots tennis in the UK

Vodafone has partnered with 19-year-old tennis sensation Emma Raducanu as its grassroots tennis ambassador. Emma will work with the brand to inspire the next generation of players and help grow grassroots tennis in the UK.

As part of her role, Emma will become the face of Vodafone’s grassroots tennis initiatives, with plans to use Vodafone connectivity to expand access to tennis for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

This includes the relaunched and expanded mass participation competition Play Your Way to Wimbledon, powered by Vodafone, formerly known as the Road to Wimbledon, which will be delivered in partnership by the LTA, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, and Vodafone.

With entries now open, thousands of 14&U and 18&U players are set to take part in the initial stages held in clubs, parks and schools, leading to county and regional finals in June and July.

The winners of these stages will progress to the national finals, taking place on Wimbledon’s Aorangi Courts in August. They will also have the chance to immerse themselves in the true Wimbledon experience, competing in whites and touring the historic Grounds and Museum.

From 2023, the LTA and the All England Club are planning for the competition to expand further, including through the introduction of additional age groups and disability categories, which Vodafone is proud to support.

There has already been good news for grassroots tennis in the UK, with the three months after Emma’s grand slam win seeing more adults pick up a racquet regularly than for the same period in any of the past five years.

Vodafone will work with Emma, the All England Club and the LTA to build on this ‘Raducanu Effect’ and help get more children and adults playing and enjoying tennis as they take part in the competition.

Off the court, Vodafone will use its network and superfast 5G to help Emma keep in touch with her family, friends and fans as she tours.

Max Taylor, Vodafone Consumer Director, said:

“Emma has captivated the nation over the last 18 months, delivering one of the most iconic British sporting moments in recent memory and inspiring a huge number of new players to pick up a racket for the first time.

“As the face of modern British tennis and a graduate of the LTA’s grassroots programme – which we are proud to now be supporting – Emma is the perfect person to champion the relaunch and expansion of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, powered by Vodafone and our ambition to democratise the sport and connect a new generation of fans and players.”

As a global citizen with a diverse heritage and fanbase, Emma has relationships all across the world, and Vodafone’s technology will enable her to stay in touch with family, friends and fans as she travels.

Emma Raducanu said:

“I’m so excited to be working with Vodafone to inspire the next generation of tennis players in the UK. The support I received at a grassroots level has been key to my development as a player, and I’m looking forward to helping make these initiatives even bigger, better and more accessible.”

To mark the partnership, Vodafone used a time-slice rig and a bespoke racket threaded with electroluminescent (EL) wire to create a unique 360 degree ‘digital sculpture’ of Emma alongside grassroots player Katie Randall.

Popularised by the Matrix, and still used by national and international broadcasters as the cutting-edge of 360 filming, time-slice rigs use 120 different cameras and state-of-the-art software, an example of Vodafone’s commitment to using the latest technology to support the next generation of tennis players.

The announcement follows Vodafone’s recent multi-year deal with Wimbledon and the All England Club as Official Connectivity Partner of The Championships.

Working alongside Wimbledon and Emma, Vodafone will use its world-leading connectivity, superfast 5G network and cutting-edge AR, VR and haptic technology to help bring the sport to more people and enhance the viewing and playing experience.