SBD/June 28, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Tomic Will Be Patient With Sponsorships Despite Wimbledon Success

IMG believes Tomic's marketability will improve when his world ranking does
The IMG management team behind tennis player Bernard Tomic "insists it will not be rushing immediately in the marketplace to secure new sponsorship deals for the boom teenager," who has advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, according to Chris Barrett of the Melbourne AGE. Tomic, whose "stunning victory over world No. 5 Robin Soderling in the Wimbledon third round created global attention, is still only 18 but is almost universally regarded as one of the three or four most exciting young players in men's tennis." But his reps, led by IMG agent Max Eisenbud, believe that "more lucrative interest from corporate backers will arise when his ranking improves even further." Einsenbud said that Tomic "will be an even more appealing commodity in the corporate world with an additional boost in his ranking, which is projected to rise from the high-150s to about 95." He added, "I've got to be honest I'm not really thinking much about deals and offers. It's just development, development, development and the other stuff will take care of itself" (Melbourne AGE, 6/28).

BULLISH ON THE TENNIS BUSINESS: Prince Sports CEO Gordon Boggis yesterday said the tennis business is "still a relatively strong sport globally." Asked about how the lack of top U.S. players affects his business, Boggis said, "I think with Prince what we're focused on is a very different approach, which is to look more at the future and really the history and heritage of Prince is always one of innovation, challenging the norms and therefore a relentless focus on the future." CNBC's Nicole Lapin said, "Let's be honest, you don't have Nadal, you don't have Federer, you don't have Roddick anymore. You don't have Sharapova anymore." Boggis: "The interesting topic is, ‘What comes next? Who and what comes next?’ Like the game today has changed so much and so the equipment has to change. There's also a mindset change and the top junior athletes of today, they want to set their own trends. ... So what we found is when we work with our top junior athletes, they want to make their own mark on the world and that's why the focus of so much of our advertising and our campaign is focused on telling the stories of true authentic junior athletes” (“Worldwide Exchange,” CNBC, 6/27).
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