OPPO restores iconic throwback moments in tennis history in colour

Smartphone company OPPO, has launched a new campaign, “Courting the Colour”, as tennis tournament Wimbledon’s official smartphone partner. Celebrating the return of tennis, OPPO, in partnership with Getty Images, reawakened the colour of old iconic photographs to retell the stories behind each photograph. 

Inspired by the belief that compassionate technology can help inspire vivid emotions, OPPO said that the collection "highlights powerful tennis stories that still reverberate in our times today".

The collection was unveiled both physically and virtually at a workshop in London. Kevin Cho, MD of OPPO UK, together with a line-up of guests, shared excitement for the return of the tournament. The line-up included guests from The All England Lawn Tennis Club – commercial and media director Mick Desmond, former tennis player Greg Rusedski, sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter and fashion icon Caroline Issa.

At the workshop, the panel unpacked themes within the collection, covering pivotal moments in tennis history regarding race, gender and fashion. The workshop also exhibited the emotive collection, and a hands-on experience with OPPO’s flagship product of the year – the OPPO Find X3 Pro.

Combined with OPPO’s imaging capabilities, each image underwent a process of restoration by experts at Getty Images. The “Courting the Colour” collection of seven images features the first African American athletes to win Wimbledon, Althea Gibson (pictured below left) and Arthur Ashe (pictured on top), bringing new life to their resilience in the face of the societal injustices of their time.

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Images of Suzanne Lenglen (pictured below left), Helen Jacobs (pictured below center) and Fred Perry (pictured below right), are also featured in the collection to showcase the cultural icons and how they fought for their identity and beliefs. From changing fashion both on and off court, to shifting stereotypical depictions of female athletes.

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“Courting the Colour” is part of a series of activations under OPPO’s Play with Heart campaign. According to OPPO, it is created to help bring fans closer to the sport to show that “by playing with heart we can overcome difficult times and advocate diversity”. Following the introduction of technologies such as night-mode and anti-shake software, OPPO said that it also aims to lead camera technology "towards a new era of colour".

OPPO added that it is committed to helping fans see tennis in a new light from building practice walls, and encourage them to challenge their own perspectives and shoot creatively through the #ShotOnOPPO series. OPPO said that fans will be given exclusive behind the scenes access to special edition Wimbledon smartphone wallpapers and icons, as well as a dedicated Wimbledon news section on OPPO’s browser.

Rusedski said that the best way to celebrate the return of tennis was to explore the iconic moments that have made the sport what it is today. “The craftsmanship of the ‘Courting the Colour’ collection made the images, some more than 80 years old, seem like they were taken just yesterday, portraying them through an unseen lens and reigniting important conversations,” he added.

Gregor Almassy, overseas CMO for OPPO added: “By refocusing on the essence of tennis, we hope to give fans a deeper connection to the sport, and in doing so, encourage fans around the world to play with heart.”

Recently in March this year, OPPO appointed 72andSunny Singapore as one of its global brand agency partners to grow and help build the brand in key markets worldwide. In line with the launch of the OPPO Find X3 Pro, the smartphone company also roped in German film composer Hans Zimmer to create ringtones and notifications for the new phone.

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