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Volume 26 No. 48
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The Timing Is Right: ATP's Grigor Dimitrov Signs Endorsement Deal With Rolex

Rolex has signed Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov to an endorsement contract, a source said. The deal is expected to be announced next week in China at the ATP Rolex Shanghai Masters tournament. Rolex, which could not immediately be reached for comment, plans to use Dimitrov in global advertising. The source said that the deal is for five years and more than $2.5M over that term. Dimitrov is represented by Team8, an agency founded by Roger Federer and his agent, Tony Godsick. Godsick declined to comment on the deal. Federer also endorses Rolex. The source noted that several watchmakers, including Tag Heuer and Rado, made bids for Dimitrov, who is currently ranked 10th on the ATP World Tour and reached the semifinals of Wimbledon this summer. Dimitrov, perhaps most well known for dating Maria Sharapova, also endorses Nike and Wilson (Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer).

THREE STRIPES, YOU'RE OUT: In London, Simon Briggs cites sources as saying that Andy Murray's apparel deal with adidas "is unlikely to be renewed at the end of the season," as Murray is "in search of one last big kit deal to cover the final five years of his career." Murray's management company, 77, is "eyeing niche brands that would base their strategy around him -- and which might even offer him equity in the company." The example of tennis player Tomas Berdych's deal with H&M "could turn out to be a precedent." Murray's management "has not given up on the idea of staying in the tennis milieu," but Nike is "unlikely to bite." Nike insists that players wear "no other advertising," and it is only a few months since Murray signed a three-year, US$7.3M deal to have Standard Life’s name "branded on his right shoulder." Murray's current five-year deal with adidas ends in December (London TELEGRAPH, 10/1).