Wimbledon Effect

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2002 – 2004 Wimbledon doubles champion, Todd Woodbridge from Australia and Jonas Björkman from Sweden

The Wimbledon effect (Japanese: ウィンブルドン現象, rōmaji: Uinburudon Genshō, literally "Wimbledon Phenomenon") is a chiefly British and Japanese analogy (which possibly originated in Japan[1][2]) which compares the tennis fame of the Wimbledon Championships, held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, with the economic success of the United Kingdom's financial services industries – especially those clustered in the City of London.

The point of the analogy is that a national and international institution (the All England Club) can be highly successful despite the lack of strong native competition, as in modern tennis Britain has produced very few Wimbledon champions, with only Ann Haydon Jones, Virginia Wade (both women's singles), Jonathan Marray (men's doubles), Andy Murray (men's singles), John Lloyd, Jeremy Bates, Jo Durie, Jamie Murray and Heather Watson (mixed doubles) winning titles in the Open Era.

Financial context[edit]

London's financial industry has boomed since the deregulation of British financial markets (the "Big Bang") in the 1980s under the Thatcher government — but has also become dominated by foreign companies, especially American investment banks, rather than British firms (a result opposite to the original intention of the reforms).

The analogy is typically used to mark a debate over whether it matters if an industry is primarily domestically owned if easing of foreign ownership restrictions allows the economy to benefit from foreign investment and increased global competition. The phrase can be used positively to assert the economic success of liberal attitudes towards foreign ownership (and sometimes to emphasize that such attitudes promote a level playing field for domestic and foreign interests alike); or it can be used negatively to emphasize how these policies have eroded a nation's ability to produce globally leading domestic companies. This opposing perspective is represented by economic patriotism and "national champion" policies.

The 68th yokozuna Asasyoryu and the 69th yokozuna Hakuho, who are both from Mongolia

The analogy has also been used in policy discourses outside Britain – most notably in the business discourse of Japan,[3][4] whose financial markets and other parts of the economy (as of 2006) have not yet been substantially opened up to foreign competition compared with its international peers. It has also, for instance, been used in banking reform debates in South Korea[5] as well as in discussing business process outsourcing in India.[6]

Sports in Japan[edit]

The term has also frequently been appearing in sports in Japan since late 20th century, including sumo where there has been only one Japanese-born yokozuna since 1998 as most of the top players have been from Mongolia or Polynesia. Similarly in combat sports (kakutougi), K-1 was the biggest kickboxing promotion of the world, whereas Pride Fighting Championships was the biggest mixed martial arts promotion of the world. Nevertheless, both K-1 and Pride had few Japanese-born popular players or champions. The vast majority of prominent competitors in K-1 came from the Netherlands or Thailand, while Pride's biggest names were from Brazil, United States, and Russia.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Leader: Foreign ownership – Importing success", 19 June 2004, The Guardian
  2. ^ Amory, Edward Heathcoat : "A fearful symmetry", 6 June 1998, The Spectator
  3. ^ Sprague, Jonathan : "Foreigners at the Wheel : A new boss at scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors", 22 September 2000, Asiaweek.com
  5. ^ "::: The Korea Times :::". Times.hankooki.com. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  6. ^ http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/createpdf.cfm?articleid=875

Further reading[edit]