SBD/August 25, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Berdych's H&M-Designed Wardrobe Expected To Draw Attention During U.S. Open

Berdych's main colors he will wear this week will be gray, white and orange
In N.Y., Ravi Ubha writes Tomas Berdych is "the only tennis player sponsored by the Swedish clothing retailer H&M," and eyes are "sure to dwell" on his chatter-generating wardrobe at this week's U.S. Open. But when asked about what he will be wearing, Berdych "was not giving everything away." He said, "The main colors are going to be gray, white and orange." H&M and Uniqlo "appear to be making inroads" in the tennis sector, which is "traditionally dominated" by Nike and adidas. H&M as part of its push into sports "provided clothing to the Swedish Olympic team" at the Sochi Games, and will also "produce a line for Sweden’s team at the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro" in '16 (N.Y. TIMES, 8/25).

PONY UP: In N.Y., Ruth La Ferla noted designer Ralph Lauren is entering the "rapidly advancing world of wearable technology" by having U.S. Open ball boys wear new shirts that "monitor your heart rate, breathing and stress levels, collecting data that is displayed on a dashboard, phone app or computer screen." The form-fitting black athletic shirts will have the Ralph Lauren polo pony "emblazoned on the front." The brand claims that the shirt is the "first item of tech apparel to be introduced by a mainstream fashion label" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/24).

MURRAY'S MILLIONS: In Scotland, Colan Lamont reports Andy Murray "is about to sign the biggest kit deal in Scottish sports history." Industry experts believe that Murray’s new contract "will dwarf his five-year agreement with Adidas which runs out in November." Murray is "said to be keeping his options open with industry giants, including Nike, believed to be among those battling for his signature on a deal that could be worth" up to $83M (all figures U.S.). The adidas deal is worth $7.5M a year and was signed in '09, before Murray's Grand Slam victories in '12 and '13 at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, respectively (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 8/25).

WHAT THEY'RE WEARING: In N.Y., Marc Berman writes the comparisons between Eugenie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova "stem more from marketability than strokes." While Sharapova is a "pure power" player, Bouchard wears a tank top that reads "One Hot Drop Shot" (N.Y. POST, 8/25). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay notes Roger Federer has been "wearing a Nike T-shirt that says BETTERER, which seems to wink at his resurgence" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/25).
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