SBJ/January 16-22, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

John Isner says so long to the swoosh and hello to the gator

John Isner, one of America’s top-ranked tennis players, has signed a four-year deal to wear Lacoste beginning this week at the Australian Open.

Isner, 26, had worn Nike since even before his college days at the University of Georgia. His deal with Nike expired at the end of 2011.

Isner signed with Lacoste as his deal with Nike expired at the end of 2011.
Photo by: LACOSTE
Sam Duvall, Isner’s agent at Lagardère Unlimited, said the main interest in the 6-foot-9 Isner came from Lacoste and several Chinese brands. He added that Lacoste’s prime interest in Isner may not necessarily be his tennis, but his height. Lacoste recently launched a big and tall line, Duvall said, and Isner is expected to be part of those marketing efforts.

A Lacoste spokeswoman confirmed having a deal with Isner, noting via email that he would become “one of the Lacoste Ambassadors, both on and off the tennis court.”

Isner was ranked No. 17 worldwide last week. In addition to his height, he is perhaps best known for competing in the longest match ever played, at 2010 Wimbledon, winning a first-round encounter against Nicolas Mahut that stretched over three days and consumed 11 hours and five minutes.

Isner’s contract will guarantee him around mid-six figures annually, though performance could significantly increase the amounts well into the seven figures. The deal does not cover footwear, and Isner for the time being will continue to wear Nike sneakers.


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