This is Barclays’ first year sponsoring Wimbledon. But rather than a solid bit of PR, it’s turned out to be more of a headache. That’s because Wimbledon takes its sustainability quite seriously and are coming under major pressure for partnering with Barclays, who has provided more cash to the fossil fuel industry than any other bank in Europe, since the Paris Climate Agreement.

Here’s how the week unfolded:

Barclays make an oily splash

Day 1 of Wimbledon started with exactly the kind of headlines that Barclays didn’t want as dozens of celebrities wrote to Wimbledon asking them to drop Barclays for being Europe’s leading fossil fuel bankroller:

BBC article about celebrities calling on Wimbledon to drop Barclays
BBC article from Day 1 of Wimbledon

The article quickly became the most-read story on both the BBC and the Guardian newspapers, and was copied to dozens more newspapers around the world. Wimbledon’s response to the article didn’t mention the $190 Bn Barclays has provided to the fossil fuel industry since 2016. Clearly they didn’t want to engage with that can of oily worms.

The celebrity letter is still ruffling some serious feathers at Wimbledon, but it was just the starting gun for more action at Wimbledon HQ. Journalists were calling up Wimbledon demanding answers on how it warrants caring about sustainability and partnering with Barclays. Wimbledon’s “environment day” had Barclays’ dirty fossil fuel record put on the agenda. Celebrity signer Richard Curtis was invited in to raise concerns with Wimbledon CEO Sally Bolton privately about Barclays’ fossil fuel funding. And a few folk close to the internal workings of Wimbledon mentioned it caused a few emergency meetings 😬

Change ends

The impact wasn’t just had internally. There was a massive array of actions outside too, including *takes big breath*.

Ad hacking all over Wimbledon’s tubes and bus stops, seen by thousands of Wimbledon punters:



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Two big petitions and thousands of emails are being delivered to Wimbledon CEO Sally Bolton, asking her to stop drop Barclays. Plus, thousands of Wimbledon queuers are walking passed the 10ft dodo outside the main gates and learning about Barclays’ fossil fuel funding while they wait…

…throw a tonne of social media content on the pile…


…and you have a campaign seen by millions of people around the world, demanding that Wimbledon drops Barclays.

What do people want from Barclays?

It’s simple, an end to the billions of dollars that Barclays is providing to billionaire corporations like Shell and Exxon. Barclays cannot continue to say it’s green and that it cares about the environment whilst piling cash into the industry destroying our planet. The science is clear. There can be no new fossil fuels if we want a chance at a safe world, and we already have “more than enough” fossil fuels saved to provide what we need before we can all go green.

And if you’ve heard some excuses from Barclays as to why they can’t do this – check out Barclays’ most often used reasons for bankrolling fossil fuels, and why they’re wrong, HERE.