SBD/Issue 222/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Equipment Makers Designing Rackets For Female Tennis Players

Manufacturers Introducing
Lines Of Women’s Rackets
Sports-equipment makers are “rolling out a range of new tennis rackets designed for female players,” according to Carmen Fleetwood of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Female tennis players “have long used equipment that is essentially unisex,” and tennis is “behind a number of other sports that have created equipment for the female physique.” Companies say that “until recently, ... no rackets have offered a combination of features aimed specifically at a woman’s physical characteristics.” For example, the wooden Chris Evert racket, sold in the ’70s and ’80s by Wilson, “was marketed to women but was essentially a lighter version of a man’s racket.” Head has introduced a line of three lightweight titanium rackets for women called Airflow, which is endorsed by Steffi Graf and priced from $159-199. At the U.S. Open later this month, Fischer will launch two new rackets for women. Wilson last year introduced its W line ($200-270), endorsed by Venus and Serena Williams. Prince and Babolat “have no plans to launch women’s lines.” Some pro shops said that the women’s rackets “haven’t been selling well.” Head does not have sales figures yet, while Wilson said sales were “on track.” Fischer National Sales Manager Fred Romanus said sales of the GDS Vision FT are going “very well.” Fleetwood writes, “Questions remain about whether female athletes really want to use sporting equipment designed for them, or if they will feel such products are merely weaker, second-class goods — at a premium price.” According to the Tennis Industry Association, women racquets, priced as a high as $270, can “top the average of $170 among the top-selling rackets at pro/specialty stores” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/15).

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug