SBD/August 31, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Djokovic's Climb To The Top Of The Rankings Has Upped His Demand As An Endorser

Djokovic adds Audemars Piguet to his endorsement portfolio
Top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic’s “prowess on the court and his great personality" have led to "a lot of deals off the court in terms of marketing,” according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell. Djokovic earlier this week signed a deal with luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet, joining the likes of Heat F LeBron James and golfers Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood as endorsers for the brand. Djokovic also endorses Sergio Tacchini apparel, which was “once a huge brand in tennis,” after agreeing to a 10-year deal that began last year. The agreement is a "big coup for the brand that has less than $70 million in annual revenue.” Meanwhile, Djokovic indicated that his "voluntary gluten-free diet might open him up to more deals given the $3 billion and growing gluten-free market." Rovell notes as long as Djokovic "has success ... the marketing dollars will still come” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 8/31).

ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL: Serena Williams won her first-round U.S. Open match last night against Bojana Jovanovski, and BLOOMBERG NEWS reported the Davie Brown Index shows that Williams' appeal is "up again as she returns from two foot operations and a blood clot in her lungs.” Williams' appeal “fell to a career low after she threatened a lineswoman” for calling a foot fault in the ’09 U.S. Open. The Marketing Arm Account Dir Darin David said, “At times in her career, she has been almost unbeatable. Seeing her fight through some adversity has made her more endearing to people" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/28).

GOING WITH THE SUBDUED LOOK: ESPN’s Pam Shriver interviewed Venus Williams Monday following her first-round victory against Vesna Dolonts and said, “I know your other love besides tennis is fashion, and we have seen a lot of amazing fashion from you the last couple of years. Can you give us a little description of what you’ve put into your dress tonight?” Williams said, “Tonight is a tradition of a little black dress. Really, a little more traditional than I’ve done before. But I love lace and the zippers, so that’s still there.” Shriver: “Well, we both have lace on tonight, but mine is six-years-old, and I have the feeling yours is a few weeks old” (“U.S. Open," ESPN2, 8/29).
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