Jul 06, 2009 at 07:20 PM
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Five (or Six) Brands that Won at Wimbledon

For the second year in a row, the AELTC wrapped up Wimbledon with an epic Men's final this time to the tune of a 16-14 fifth set. There was no shortage of storylines this year with Fed gunning for 15, an all-williams women's final and Britain's best hope since that of his clothing sponsor's namesake, Fred Perry. As we say goodbye to another year of Wimbledon and look toward the hardcourts, here's a look at five brands that made the most of the fortnight.

5. Slazenger. Wimbledon downed some 52,000 tennis balls this year in their 106th year of partnership with Slazenger. In a day when sponsorhips come and go, any partnership that can make the century mark deserves to be saluted.

4. Lacoste. Lacoste was probably a backhand volley away from clothing the champ. Nevertheless, their comeback is inextricably tied to Roddick's and there is absolutely no doubt that he's back in play for this summer's U.S. Open circuit. If there are tweets and RT's about Roddick adjusting his shirt 18x in a single game, then you know Lacoste is getting PT.

Before we continue, a break for one that lost. NBC. Although they might have drawn some great ratings (4.2 overnight Nielsen) from the finals which were not coincidentally telecast LIVE, there is absolutely no excuse for tape delays in this day and age. Tape delays may have worked in the days prior to the internet, but all it did this year was paint NBC as clueless and push viewers to streaming video sites like Justin.TV and Ustream. Don't get me wrong, I love the production value of their broadcasts, but having a match being broadcast simultaneously at three different stages throughout the U.S. alone (none of which are in real time) is pretty ridiculous. Anything that's bad for tennis fans is bad for its corporate supporters.

3. Tie: Ray-Ban & RBS. Bailed out bank RBS has been under attack for their sports sponsorship spending. While one tournament doth not make a ROI, Murray's run may provide some strong quantifiable metrics to quell the naysayers. Ray-Ban, on the other hand, was a late entry from the friends and fam box thanks to Andy Roddick's wife, SI model Brooklyn Decker.

Brooklyn Decker
The friends and family box is all about fashion and perhaps some strategic seat placement (Roddick's trainer got people talking about Crocs). Truth be told, it was a toss up between Pistol Pete's throwback shades and Brooklyn's Ray-Ban aviators. We'll go with Ray-Bans.

2. Rolex. Fed & A-Rod are both Rolex endorsers and while they didn't actually play with the bling, they slapped them on for the best part, the awards ceremonies. In their 31st year as official partner, having rolex officially tracking time on another epic test of endurance can't hurt either. Last year's men's final was the longest match in history and this year's was the longest final set. That's a lot of air time for Rolex' only digital watch.

1. Tennis. So many great storylines, which allowed tennis' greatest personalities to shine on the sport's biggest stage. I can't remember a better Wimbledon, which can only be good for the brand of tennis as a whole. What's good for the sport is generally good for its sponsors and me thinks this year's Wimbledon put on a good show. And no rain!

Bonus: Nike and NetJets for having some clever Fed spots in the hopper for his 15th grand slam.

Turns out despite what Johnny Mac & team told us (about 10x) yesterday, there CAN indeed be more than one winner.

Who was yours?