Wimbledon poster contest winner gets backstage access to ESPN’s production unit

(L-R) Brad Gilbert, Chris McKendry, David Bartholow, Chris Fowler, Pam Shriver (Dave Nagle/ESPN)
(L-R) Brad Gilbert, Chris McKendry, David Bartholow, Chris Fowler, and Pam Shriver
(Dave Nagle/ESPN)

LONDON – An avid tennis player and viewer, David Bartholow of Los Angeles worked in advertising and graphics before starting his own marketing and design firm. His personal and professional selves combined in perfect harmony with his winning submission to design the official Wimbledon poster for 2014 – in a contest created by ESPN Programming with the All England Club – resulting in a trip to London and Centre Court tickets.

Upon arrival at the Wimbledon grounds on a Saturday morning, Bartholow and his guest, Evelyn Crowley, toured the ESPN production facilities in the Broadcast Centre. Many ESPN employees explained what goes into the telecasts – producing an open, editing, the computer-generated graphics and statistics, and social media efforts.

David Bartholow with his winning poster submission. (Dave Nagle/ESPN)
David Bartholow with his winning poster submission. (Dave Nagle/ESPN)

Before lunch at the ESPN suite and heading to a day of tennis, they also spent time chatting with commentators Chris Fowler, Brad Gilbert, John and Patrick McEnroe, Chris McKendry and Pam Shriver. Everyone along the way was familiar with his work and, knowing the expertise involved, complimentary of the result. Indeed, there were plenty of starts, and stops, before the finished product.

“I started with two distinct designs, followed by many iterations of each – about 20 total – before I settled on my entry,” he says. “The poster is inspired by the London summer light and that on television Centre Court always has a certain air of mystery and sense of isolation for the players battling on that hallowed ground.”

It was Bartholow’s first time on the grounds of Wimbledon, although he had gotten very close once before.

“I was in the queue in 2000, but did not get in!,” he said.

For someone with his background, the whole experience has been the ultimate.

“This is the fulfilment of a dream I never imagined could be real,” he says.

The contest, coordinated by ESPN in conjunction with the All England Club, was the first time Wimbledon conducted such a contest for North Americans (in 2013, the first-ever contest, only children from Great Britain were eligible).

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