This year, Wimbledon’s Centre Court turns 100, and to celebrate its centenary the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has announced the release of The Centenary Collection – 10 digital masterpiece collectibles, one for each decade, minted on the blockchain, for tennis fans and collectors to call their own. There are 100 of each available to buy, making 1,000 in total.
The Collection has been curated by Glorious Digital, a New Zealand-based digital art studio and marketplace. Chief Executive Tim Harper says the artworks take inspiration not just from the on court history, but also from the culture, art, fashion and events of each decade.
“Wimbledon is treasured by one of the world’s largest and most dedicated assemblage of fans, many of whom will already enjoy an appreciation of digital art,” he said. “With these fans in mind, Glorious has worked with the AELTC to craft a masterpiece Centenary Collection immortalising the magnificent history and legacy of Centre Court.
“Through the Wimbledon archives, we rediscovered photographs that capture some of The Championship’s most iconic moments. We then returned the images to a film contact sheet and enhanced them with handwritten calligraphy to illuminate the stories within. It was an intensive process, but well worth it – we are very proud of the result.”
Each of the pieces is priced at £500, with a ballot now open for buyers to enter for the right to own one. The Championships begin on Monday 27 June and ballot entries close on Middle Sunday, 3 July. Randomised entries will be drawn in the following days. Successful purchasers will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to complete their purchase. If payment is not received within that time their successful ballot will be reallocated to another entrant.
Buyers cannot choose which decade of artwork they want to purchase. They’ll discover which masterpiece they have bought on 10 July, the last day of the tournament, when The Centenary Collection will be officially released.
“To celebrate 100 years of Centre Court with these unique digital collectibles, minted as NFTs, is a lovely contrast,"said AELTC Communications and Marketing Director, Alexandra Willis. "Not only does this collection reflect the past, but, through the use of an innovation that has only begun to develop in the last 12 months, we are looking to the future, a timely reminder that how fans interact with sport will continue to evolve."