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Volume 26 No. 109
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Brand Advertisers Focus On Female Athletes Around U.S. Open Start

The U.S. Open officially began last night in Queens, and Nike, New Balance and the USTA are "using this year’s tournament to align themselves with the empowerment, inspiration, and equality of female athletes," according to Jeff Beer of FAST COMPANY. All three have "launched ads in the last week or so that celebrate female athlete empowerment in a few different ways." Yesterday was Women’s Equality Day, and the USTA’s “Women Worth Watching,” created by agency Mcgarrybowen, N.Y., "shines a light on how little attention is actually given to women’s sports." Nike’s “Sport Changes Everything” campaign "goes for full-on inspiration with spots starring Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, Naomi Osaka, and Simona Halep, all featuring young girl fans reading out letters to their tennis heroes." New Balance "continues its newfound push into major sports branding with a new spot celebrating young phenom Coco Gauff that oozes with the brash, youthful attitude of any next generation" (FASTCOMPANY.com, 8/26).

THE UP-AND-COMER: Sports management company Team8 President & CEO Tony Godsick represents the 15-year-old Gauff, who had already signed deals with pasta maker Barilla, New Balance and Head before her run at Wimbledon earlier this year. Godsick in a Q&A with FORBES' Danielle Rossingh discussed the deals, worth around $1M combined. "This time last summer, there was a very heated and aggressive attempt by multiple companies to sign her. And she ended with New Balance, which was wonderful for her, and she was very excited to sign with a company that doesn’t have so many players. A racket deal is a racket deal, everyone saw her talents and the industry came along.” More Godsick: "Barilla was company that we knew, that we had done business with. They have a long history of supporting tennis players, Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer now. ... This is a company that spends a lot of money in sports marketing, they see the value" (FORBES.com, 8/26).