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SBD Global/June 11, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Uniqlo Taking New Branding Approach With Djokovic

Nike and adidas are in "the middle of their annual summer heavyweight battle to sell the most replica shirts, footballs and trainers," according to Will Dean of the London INDEPENDENT, who wonders why it "seemed so odd" when Novak Djokovic signed a five-year clothing deal with Japan-based Uniqlo before the French Open.  Is Uniqlo "taking a swing into the sportswear market," or is it merely a way to "promote its casualwear?" Where Nike can sell Cristiano Ronaldo's boots and Barcelona's kits, "Uniqlo isn't selling Djokovic attire." If the brand is not in the deal to sell sportswear, "what's the investment in a tennis superstar worth for Uniqlo?" Planet Retail industry analyst Isabel Cavill said, "It's all part of a general movement in the fashion sector -- especially in the retail sector -- into sportswear." Cavill added, "A lot of people still don't think of Uniqlo as the place to go to buy basics. But teaming up with such a major sportsperson will do it a lot of good" (INDEPENDENT, 6/8).
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