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Volume 25 No. 152
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Serves & Volleys: Nike Without Apparel Endorser At ATP Finals

Del Potro would have given Nike an apparel endorser in the ATP's final event of the year
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

FORBES' Tim Newcomb notes Nike is "without a key sponsorship player" in the eight-man field at the Nitto ATP Finals after both Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro withdrew due to injuries. However, Uniqlo ambassadors Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori will both wear Nike sneakers. No brand has "more than three of the athletes" in the field and that "comes only for racket maker Head." Fila (John Isner and Marin Cilic) and Adidas (Dominic Thiem and Sascah Zverev) "join Uniqlo with two athletes apiece." Lotto (Kevin Anderson) and Lacoste (Novak Djokovic) have the other two players (FORBES.com, 11/9).

START YOUR ENGINES: The AP's Yuri Kageyama notes Nissan is "mulling a 'Naomi Osaka model' car" as the automaker believes "investing in Osaka enhances brand image for the long-term." Nissan in September signed Osaka to a three-year deal to be a “brand ambassador.” The deal was "in the works for a while," and now the timing "couldn’t have been better," as Osaka is coming off her U.S. Open win. Nissan GM of Japan Brand & Media Strategy Masao Tsutsumi said that Osaka's "transformation from 'every girl' to superstar parallels the automaker’s commitment to technological innovation" (AP, 11/9).

THE SON ALSO RISES: In N.Y., Andrew Keh profiled Leo Borg, the 15-year-old son of tennis legend Bjorn Borg and "one of the best young players in Sweden." The younger Borg earlier this year "signed his first sponsorship deals" with equipment company Babolat and Fila, "whose clothing his father wore." Agent Nina Wennerstrom has been working with Leo Borg for a year and said that she is "navigating the delicate path between acknowledging the famous family name and letting the teenager forge a distinct identity" (NYTIMES.com, 11/7).