SBJ/January 7 - 13, 2002/Marketingsponsorship

6th-ranked Grosjean moves to Octagon


Sebastien Grosjean, the No. 6-ranked men's tennis player in the world, switched management companies with the start of the new year, moving to Octagon from IMG. He also changed his apparel and footwear sponsor, moving to Lacoste from Reebok, ending a 10-year relationship with the Massachusetts company.

The Frenchman soared in the rankings in 2001, reaching the semifinals of the Australian and French Opens. But according to Octagon officials, Grosjean said he felt he did not receive enough attention at IMG.

"He had been with IMG for five years and felt that by coming to us he would have a more personalized approach of management," said Jorge Salkeld, head of Octagon's Paris office. Salkeld will handle Grosjean with his colleague, Cyril Buscaglione.

"To have him as our third top-10 client [joining Lleyton Hewitt and Gustavo Kuerten] was crucial," Salkeld added. "And for him, none of our clients would compete against him, in terms of our time or his opportunities."

IMG, which did not return calls seeking comment, represents a host of top French players, including Arnaud Clement, Nicolas Escude, Fabrice Santoro and Cedric Pioline.

Salkeld said Octagon offered no marketing guarantees to Grosjean.

Reebok decided not to re-sign Grosjean because it is focusing primarily on only two tennis players, Andy Roddick and Venus Williams, said Dianne Hayes, head of tennis marketing at the company.

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