SBD/January 14, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Serves & Volleys: Gael Monfils Coming Back From Injury With New Asics, Wilson Deals

Monfils prior to his deal with Asics was aligned with K-Swiss
TENNIS.com’s Richard Pagliaro reported tennis player Gael Monfils is “now playing with a Wilson Blade racquet after spending recent years playing with Prince, and he signed a head-to-toe apparel and shoe pact with Asics.” Monfils, who previously wore K-Swiss clothes and shoes, said that Asics’ “long-term commitment at a time when injury-induced inactivity has caused his ranking to fall to No. 99 compelled him to make the move, along with his belief the brand’s shoes can help protect his body from the pounding his explosive style inflicts.” Meanwhile, the retirement of Kim Clijsters “means Fila lost the face of its women’s tennis line, so the iconic brand acted with its signing of 18th-ranked German Julia Goerges, who has spent her pro career wearing Nike” (TENNIS.com, 1/13).

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE COURT: In London, Liv Lee noted tennis player Laura Robson was "offered an unusual distraction" when she appeared on the world's first mirror tennis court created by adidas to promote its first collection of tennis attire by English fashion designer Stella McCartney. Robson was joined by Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Kirilenko at the media event, which was held yesterday in Melbourne (DAILYMAIL.co.uk, 1/13). TENNIS GRANDSTAND's Romana Cvitkovic reported adidas' debut of McCartney's apparel line "will be accompanying the launch with a fan competition," which runs through Jan. 27 on adidas' Women's Instagram page. The competition asks fans to capture their adidas tennis look "for a chance to win some of the new kit." The debut of McCartney's collection is "only the first chapter" of the '13 adidas women's campaign to be launched in March (TENNIS GRANDSTAND, 1/11).

OFF-COURT SUCCESS: In Melbourne, Shane Green notes the world's leading tennis players in many cases “earn more off the court than on.” A Forbes report in September included a list of the highest-paid tennis players and their on-and off-court earnings. Out of the top 10, eight “were making more money off the court -- 75 per cent of earnings came from endorsements and appearance money.” Roger Federer according to the list “made $US9.3 million on court, and a staggering $US45 million off court in the year to last July.” Forbes reported Sharapova is “the highest paid” of the women, “winning $US5.1 million on the court, but earning $US27.1 million off it.” Green notes Melbourne in the days leading up to the Australian Open was “buzzing with off-court appearances by the biggest names in the game in pursuit of the lucrative dollars that come with their endorsements.” Sharapova even hosted the Australian launch of her own brand of candy, Sugarpova (Melbourne AGE, 1/14).

YOUR NAME HERE: ESPN.com’s Kristi Dosh noted ATP World Tour players “will have the ability this year to increase the amount of ad space they can sell on their shirts and hats to sponsors.” The new rules, which were first reported by SportsBusiness Journal, allow for a "logo on the side of his headwear, which does not have to be for his apparel or racket company, and two additional spots on the front of his shirt and the back of his shirt by the collar.” Players under the old rules “could sell two 4-inch-by-4-inch patches on his sleeves to companies other than his apparel company, and his headwear could feature only his apparel or racket company." The changes “won’t be in effect at Grand Slam events," but they will be for "61 ATP events and the championship at season’s end" (ESPN.com, 1/12).
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