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Volume 26 No. 85
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New Balance Looks To Capitalize On Coco Gauff's Rising Star

The U.S. Open allows New Balance a chance to establish Gauff as the face of its tennis brand
Photo: NEW BALANCE
The U.S. Open allows New Balance a chance to establish Gauff as the face of its tennis brand
Photo: NEW BALANCE
The U.S. Open allows New Balance a chance to establish Gauff as the face of its tennis brand
Photo: NEW BALANCE

This year’s U.S. Open marks the beginning of Coco Gauff's "potential career as a marketing magnate and tennis influencer," according to Jerry Bembry of THE UNDEFEATED. For New Balance, the result is a new ad campaign released just before the slam that includes voices of pundits questioning whether the 15-year-old is "ready for the big stage." A spot includes Gauff, who won her debut match last night over Anastasia Potapova, saying, “Call me what you want, but win or lose, just call me Coco.” New Balance Tennis Marketing Manager Evan Zeder said the U.S. Open "gives us a chance to establish her as the face of our brand moving forward." Bembry noted Gauff is the "youngest of the nine athletes on the New Balance tennis roster." But after her run at Wimbledon, she is "clearly the most prominent." Zeder: “We signed her with the expectation to have her be one of our top-tier athletes, like Kawhi [Leonard]" (THEUNDEFEATED.com, 8/27). Gauff during her match against Potapova wore shoes on which she wrote, "Call Me Coco," while her father wore a T-shirt baring the same slogan in the stands (THE DAILY).

JUST THE BEGINNING: On Long Island, Barbara Barker notes Gauff has endorsements with pasta company Barilla, and multiyear deals with New Balance and racquet company Head. Barker: "Expect more to follow." Everyone "wants a piece of the next big thing, the player who will step up to fill the void in American tennis when Venus and Serena Williams retire after dominating the sport for two decades." Gauff, at this point, is a "marketer’s dream, a player with style, personality and big ambitions" (NEWSDAY, 8/28).