Archive for the ‘sponsorship’ Category

short balls: aussie hangover

February 1, 2011

There is plenty to be said about this year’s Australian Open. We’ll leave most of the match breakdowns and this’s and that’s to the experts: On Tennis.com, Tom Perrotta is saying that this is a Major that the ladies should be proud of – and I quite agree. Isn’t it crazy what a quality tournament this was, even though the likes of Ivanovic, Venus, Justine and Maria couldn’t even crack deep into the second week? Kudos, gals. Now, let’s get to the good, juicy TSF stuff.

Speaking of Venus, how strange was the word-vomit Tweet barrage from her mother, Oracene Price on Friday? Oracene Tweeted around 60 times in a matter of hours, complimenting Novak DjokovicPetra Kvitova (which Oracene could never spell right) and Li Na along the way. But in the same breath, Oracene poked fun at Clijsters and said she hoped Li would “kick some butt.” That was as talkative as Oracene has been – both online or in person – ever. Here, she seems to make a strange (and confusing) claim that Clijsters is “dubious:”

Twitter-pated: More of Oracene on TSF | Follow Oracene on Twitter | Follow TSF

Hoping to catch Kimmie at the 2012 Olympics before she signs off for good? You probably will get to swig back a Heineken or two, as the London Games are supposedly close to signing a deal with the Dutch beer-producer, according to Marketing magazine: “Heineken will have pouring rights to the hospitality outlets at the 2012 Games and also have the marketing rights to the Olympics and Paralympics, reports Marketing magazine.” (via Sports City)

Close to Melbourne, but across the ocean… Ryan Harrison was victorious in an all-American final at the Honolulu challenger. He took down Alex Kuznetsov to capture the crown, $7,200 and 80 ranking points. Three American women (Julia Cohen, Irina Falconi and Madison Brengle) are doing the dirty work on the USTA Pro Circuit this week. They are the top three seeds in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

And if you haven’t seen this video of a streaker running into a bit of streaking bad luck, you must:

(ao photo by jheritage via flickr; oracene screen grab via twitter; video screen grab via youtube)

players manage balancing act while prepping for nyc’s big show

August 27, 2010

Kim Clijsters threw out the first pitch after meeting the Mets team in Queens on Friday in New York. A day earlier, she was the USTA’s guest of honor at the draw ceremony (AP photo via Yahoo! Sports).

RalphLauren.com pulled out all the stops on Thursday afternoon for an event featuring Venus Williams, in which Venus took questions from online submissions from around the world in a live clinic. At the Sportime Randall’s Island tennis center in New York, Venus was on court for the first time in a public setting since her eyebrow-raising loss to Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. But instead of thwacking errors and a look of confusion, Venus was all smiles and tennis knowledge in the clinic, which was hosted by the British TV personality (and former player) Annabel Croft.

Venus, who is the no. 3 seed at the US Open and one of the favorites though she hasn’t been on tour in two months, talked fitness, forehands and gave plenty of tennis tips from her 26 years of experience on the court. The event was hosted by Ralph Lauren and Mercedes Benz, based on RL’s homepage for viewers to log in and watch live while Venus answered questions relayed by Croft. (Watch a full replay of the clinic here or click on the image after the jump.)

“It’s good for me to remember the basics when I’m about to play a big tournament,” Venus said, referring to the Open. Venus partnered with Ralph Lauren in the design of the dress she wore, a white number emblazoned with the logo of Eleven, Venus’s clothing line.

Guests were greeted with sweet mint tea, pistachio ice cream sandwiches and caramelized popcorn on the upper deck at Randall’s Island, which hosts the New York Sportimes during the World Team Tennis seasons. Male models clad in red Ralph Lauren polos dished out the goods as Venus strode through the crowd on her way to hair and make up (this was a live, online clinic, after all).

The clinic was a part of a myriad of events happening in New York this week, which all lead up to the big show at Flushing Meadows starting on Monday.

(more…)

the need for speed

February 19, 2009

The folks at HEAD are wasting no time milking the newest member of their stable, Novak Djokovic, for some Q-rating padding. They have chosen Nole as the main vehicle for a new racquet technology named Speed. (Nevermind that they’ve already had Andy Murray and Marat Safin, right?)

The deets of the stick were hush-hush until Djokovic played with them at the Australian Open (pics), and HEAD moves onto the next step of their campaign with “Speed Lessons by Novak Djokovic”.

You can think of the site, found at speedlessons.com, as a cross between Teen Girl Squad and Palin as President — a mix of animated shorts and other mini-gags (including mouseovers voiced by Djokovic himself).

Look out for a total of six flash-based “tennis lessons”, released about once a week. Much like the hammy Serbian, these shorts should be taken with a grain of salt. Watch ‘em and you’ll know what we mean.

Mousing over the landing page induces a few cute sound bites (e.g., “With a two-handed backhand, you won’t have a free hand for a remote control.”). The folks we talked to at HEAD said that Nole had a good time recording the voiceovers for the site.

And finally, users can take a three-question quiz, after which they can enter to win one of ten Speed racquets autographed by Djokovic.

The global campaign, conceived by an Austrian agency, will culminate with the racquet’s retail launch in late April or May.

HEAD wanted something “new, fresh, and online based because that’s what everybody is,” said a company rep. They’ve included links for Facebook, del.icio.us, Technorati, and Google to help spread the word.

Visit: Speed Lessons.

Scoreline: Djokovic, who retired in the heat against Andy Roddick during the Aussie Open quarterfinals, bounces back after a two-week break to reach the quarters (vs. Mischa Zverev) in this week’s Open 13 in Marseille. Nole hasn’t been looking his best, but has yet to drop a set in two rounds.

$hort ball$: roger federer edition

February 1, 2008

Roger’s riches: Lots have been said lately about the massive amounts of moolah coming into the coffers of Roger Federer (pat yourselves on the back, Mirka and Tony Godsick!).

SportsBusiness Journal reports that R-Fed and his clothing sponsor, Nike, are extending their relationship for 10 more years. This arrangement could give Roger $13 million a year — one of the most lucrative deals in tennis history. The exact figure for the contract is up in the air because some of the payout could be performance-based.

What exactly is Nike paying for?

“In the U.S., probably less than 2 percent of athletic footwear sales are tennis… K-Swiss is a bigger tennis brand in America than Nike. [Tennis] does get a lot of publicity, a lot of mention in news articles, and a lot more people watch the sport than participate in it. Branding is probably a pretty good part of the deal, particularly in Nike’s European sector, where [tennis] is much more important.”

Huh. I didn’t know that K-Swiss had a bigger share of the market (fyi, I wear K-Swiss shoes for tennis).

Also, the suits are likely acknowledging that the screwed Roger back in 2002, when the agentless Swiss player signed a contract for $1 million a year. “It’s possible some of the money he is acing with the new deal serves in part as an acknowledgment on Nike’s behalf of the semi-free ride they have had with Federer during his rise.”

And Tages-Anzeigers (through Roger expert Rene Stauffer, of course) notes that adidas, Lacoste, and Polo Ralph Lauren all put in bids for Roger. A PRL rep denied the company’s involvement in the situation.

Other bits: According to SBJ, Roger charged $1 million for each of his appearances at the Asian exhibitions last fall. Ka-ching.

MSG is good for you: Another exo between Roger and Pistol Pete has been scheduled, this time for a March date at Madison Square Garden. At least through this seller, it looks like tickets range from $70 (nosebleed) to $16,050 for a pair of front row, dead center, courtside VIP seats. No word on how much Roger is getting paid for this match. Jordan, are you going?

And since we’re on the topic of seats, I don’t know who decided that the sidelines are great — for some reason, those always sell out first, don’t they? I’m all about sitting behind the baseline a few rows up.

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Answered prayers: The powers that be at Nike have finally released a mass-market version of his hat. We first saw Roger with the black version at the 2007 U.S. Open. Buy: The hat is avalable for $20 at Tennis Warehouse. Autographed hats, if that’s your style, might still be available through Roger’s website.

Delusion: The Onion writes up a spoof on Roger’s loss in the Australian Open semis.

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>> TSF’s short balls archive

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fashion focus: when a frog turns to prince

January 18, 2008

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Eccentric American Vince Spadea is still in the running for an Australian Open title. He reached the third round by taking out Denis Gremelmayr in five sets: 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7. Spadea took out 30th seed Radek Stepanek in the first round.

Prince charmed him: Vince is cleaning up after all! He recently signed a sponsorship contract with Prince, which, along with a racquet deal, gives him official Prince tennis clothing to wear at ATP Tour events.

Le sad. We cringed at the sight of those (bedazzled) trucker hats from his own line, but they had a place at the table.

Going 2.0: “The Vindawg” has embraced the web full-on. Watch YouTube videos of his rapping (but really, more like spoken word). And now that I think about it, I hope his homepage layout doesn’t change. At this point, it’s so outdated that it’s hip again!

Buy: If you’re not in America right now, you probably still have money to spend. Browse the latest Prince goods here. Enjoy.

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>> TSF’s australian open coverage…
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adidas signs sania mirza

December 26, 2007

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The musical chairs of clothing sponsorship continues with adidas announcing on Monday that it has signed Sania Mirza as its first Indian Global Brand Ambassador. This explains the photo we posted earlier.

Sania’s multi-year agreement is effective immediately. I haven’t found out yet which line she’ll be wearing (my two cents: her bustiness will make the Competition tops look awesome; sorry, Justine).

In Sania, adidas has one of the most outspoken and polarizing athletes in Asia. She constantly butts heads with religious conservatives who look down on her piercings and “short” skirts. None of the fatwas issued against her have gained popular support, so it’s smart for the sports clothing company to harness this celebrity.

Sania: You’re no longer with Lotto — you’re playing with the big girls now. Tame your forehand, plan a smarter schedule so you’re less injured, and don’t let adidas down!

Press release after the cut.

fashion: li ning and ljubicic

October 30, 2007

In case you haven’t noticed, (ex-) Croatian sensation Ivan Ljubicic is no longer being sponsored by Diadora.

On September 24, it was announced that Ivan would begin wearing clothes from Chinese sportswear giant Li Ning — the same company endorsed by Shaquille O’Neal and a few other NBA players.

FYI: Eyebrows have been raised about Li Ning’s logo (if you squint enough, you might see a similarity to the Nike Swoosh) and how it piggybacked on that to a third place share of the Chinese market (behind Nike and adidas). It continues its charge with an agressive Beijing Olympics campaign: along with sponsoring some Chinese teams, Li-Ning has also landed the contract to outfit the Spanish delegation.

While it’s nothing mind-blowing, we love what they’ve put on Ljubicic so far… that fine checkered pattern on the left (last seen in Vienna earlier this month) is a breath of fresh air compared to the color blocks that have become Diadora’s complacent signature as of late.

What do you think of this partnership? Tell us!

the women’s final: henin wins but sveta shines

September 8, 2007

Congrats to Justine Henin for taking her second U.S. Open title (her first came in 2003) by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova — the 2004 U.S. Open champ — 6-1, 6-3.

Henin wore her ho-hum orange adidas separates, and Kuznetsova wore the same outfit from Fila that she’s been sporting all week.

We did notice a few more things this time around: Kuznetsova has a necklace with an “S” in cursive lettering, and her bandana was personalized with a monogram.

I love these little touches that make the ensemble hers. (Do you agree? Tell us!)

Bonus round: In case you’re wondering, that Mary Cohr badge on her red tank is from sponsor Baronesse Cosmetiques, whose stable includes Sveta, Thomas Johansson, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Paul Capdeville, and Tamira Paszek.

(photos via Getty Images)

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>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues…

a top 10 player to be stripped of his clothes?

August 27, 2007


Will adidas make a monkey out of Gonzalez?

The blind item mill churneth and its latest product is this: a current top-10 player will be dumped by his clothing company “when his contract runs out at the end of the year”.

So who will be mired in a fashion mess in a few months? Here’s the current list of sponsors, players (and their ranking):

Nike: Roger Federer (1), Rafa Nadal (2), Blake (6), Berdych (9)
adidas: Nole (3), Fernando Gonzalez (7)
Airness: Davydenko (4)
Lacoste: Roddick (5)
Sergio Tacchini: Tommy Robredo (8)
Limited: Tommy Haas (10)

It’s not Rafa, Roger, or Blake — who all have crazy-high Q ratings right now. Lacoste is still getting mileage out of Roddick. And adidas would be stupid to drop Nole. Even though he strips after every title win, the clothes stay on during matches.

So my picks are the inconsistent Fernando Gonzalez (finals of Aussie Open and Masters Series Rome but early exits everywhere else), Tomas Berdych, and Tommy Robredo. Robredo should really be with Fila anyway. Perhaps this’ll be his chance to do so?

(photo via AP)

fashion preview: venus’ u.s. open outfits

August 23, 2007

Funny that this morning I was wondering what Reebok was making for Venus to wear at this year’s U.S. Open. As you might know, Venus’ crazy sponsorship deal — which paid $40 million over five years starting in 2000 — wasn’t renewed because of all her injuries (poor thing). But she had worked out a deal that paid her to wear these short shorts at Wimbledon.

Now she’s bounced back by partnering up with Steve & Barry’s for her clothing line EleVen (at an announcement that overshadowed the Masha/Nike red dress junket yesterday, I might add). Venus will wear some of pieces on the court in Flushing Meadows, including this dress and $15 (!) pair of shoes above.

I think that color will look good on her. And I LOVE the collar on that sleeveless top. Brava!

Bonus round: CNBC’s Darren Rovell did a great interview with Howard Schacter, Steve & Barry’s Chief Partnerships Officer. Read it here.

djokovic makes a run to the finals

August 11, 2007

The Serbians continue to rip through the ATP and SEWTA Tours. Ivanovic will play Petrova in tomorrow’s final at the East West Bank Classic while the lickalicious Nole will try for hist first win against Roger Federer (he’s currently 0-4) after downing Nadal in straight sets. Novak will also be vying for his first Rogers Cup title.

Djokovic is wearing the adidas Men’s Summer YOC Theme Polo for the hardcourt season. Available in two colorways: Dark Orange w/ White & Yellow (pictured above) and White w/Dark Orange & Navy.

Buy: $38.99 at TW.

roddick’s fall ’07 look

August 5, 2007

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That’s Andy Roddick debuting a new fall ’07 on-court look at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, where the Texan is looking for a fresh start after his disappointing loss to Richard Gasquet at this year’s Wimbledon.

Andy, where’s the color? I know you’re trying to maximize your usage of white before Labor Day (the second Monday of the U.S. Open, that is) but you’re okay to bend the rules. Lacoste’s palette is so beautiful anyway — take advantage!

Buy: The Lacoste Short Block Polo (with color block detail) is available in white (with grey/black trim) or black (with white/grey trim) for $95 at lacoste.com. (The hat’s $55.)

waitaminute: juan monaco

July 29, 2007

A few notes to start: Vice‘s annual photo issue is out, so make sure to pick up a copy before they disappear. Also, perfect Sunday afternoon = surprisingly potent Chipotle margaritas while window shopping at the Bev Center.

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Did anyone else notice how Juan Monaco was BURSTING out of his adidas kit while playing Potito Starace in today’s Austrian Open final? The world is totally unfair.

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Fashion: I love the silver trim on these shirts (both in red and white). I’ve been trying to look for it online to no avail, so if you have any tips, please send our way (tennisCBH AT gmail DOT com).

Bonus round: More pics of the white shirt, some Monaco training pics, and a screenshot. Enjoy!

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(Austria photos via Getty Images, training photos via sportfiles, and Tenis Pro screen cap via MTF)

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>> the shirtless archive
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short balls: thursday edition

July 26, 2007

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Guga lives on: Columnist Charles Bricker lets us know that Guga is still months away from recovery, and likely can’t take advantage of a U.S. Open wildcard. In the meantime, you can enjoy this fan art.

Monte Carlos Masters stays put: The organizers of this Masters Series tourney get to keep their mid-April date, their ranking points, and prize money levels. Unfortunately, the ATP won’t enforce player commitments for the event, which could mean a lackluster field. But with plenty of players calling the Principality of Monaco home, perhaps recruiting players won’t be so hard to do… (IHT, DT)

Someone loves you, Andy: Andy Roddick‘s still smarting about his quarterfinal loss to Richard Gasquet at this year’s Wimbledon, but he can take consolation in ranking 59th in AfterElton’s Hot 100 list.

It’s not just ‘tennis elbow’ anymore: Spine injury can rear its ugly head early on, so teens: be careful!

A sports lover’s haven: After the sixth hour on the couch watching Wimbledon coverage, I dream about a house like this, too. (LAT)

(OT) Chanel’s mobile pavilion: Designer Karl Lagerfeld has commissioned architect Zaha Hadid to create a pavilion for Chanel‘s Mobile Art exhibition. (On the Runway)

The U.S. Open Series coverage begins: When something gets a New York Times mention, you know it’s got it made. (Talking Tennis)

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Sharapova expands her empire: The Manhattan Beach resident played a WTT match for the Newport Beach Breakers last night. She wore the Summer Sphere Tank from her clothing sponsor, Nike. (via AVP)

Hyuk of the day: Yes, we chuckled when we saw this headline. Did she tie her shoes too tight? Do you hear that frog? (via OTB)

Nike and adidas should watch out: As sneaker companies sense that China will soon become a big-time market, the sponsorship agreements doled out get more and more creative. (Slate)

RELATED POSTS
>> Tennis Served Fresh’s short balls archive

roitman’s “no brand” clothing

July 26, 2007

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Sergio goes gaucho: The background behind Argentinian Sergio Roitman‘s clothing sponsor, No Brand: Roitman’s buddy runs the line, whose goal is low-key promotion of national icons such as cattle (on his bandana, above), Che Guevara, the bandoneón (pictured on his shirt, above), mate (the country’s favorite drink), and Carlos Gardel. Upcoming designs include Guillermo Vilas and Gabriela Sabatini.

Players like Nicolas Almagro, Filippo Volandri, Nicolas Lapentti, and Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo are all fans of the line. At tournaments, Roitman usually brings extra gear to hand out as gifts.

(ATP Blog via Vivi el Tenis)

RELATED POSTS
>> Tennis Served Fresh’s fashion archive

fashion focus: lacoste releases new ‘repel’ shoe

July 20, 2007

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Lacoste piggybacks off their crazy Wimbledon (two words: red knickers) with some interesting developments in footwear — namely, a new range of performance shoes called Repel.

The shoes will start appearing on their endorsed players soon, and will be available for sale to the public (in men’s and women’s sizes) by early 2008.

What do you think? Tell us.

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>> Tennis Served Fresh’s Lacoste archive
>> a look at lacoste bags
>> the missouri ’85 sneaker
>> christophe pillet + lacoste = cute watches
>> more on lacoste’s dot and dash shoes

fashion flashback: andy roddick’s lacoste bag

July 19, 2007

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Andy Roddick was only lugging around a Babolat bag at this year’s Wimbledon, but he’s gone all fashionista on us before: above is a photo of Andy’s white duffel from two years ago.

I’ve seen a version of it up close at my local Lacoste shop and contemplated picking one up. It’s no longer available online, but I found others:

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That’s the Retro Street tennis bag, the Sport Retro tennis bag, and the Summer Terry beach bag — all available at macys.com. Which one’s your fave? Tell us.

(Andy photo via RoddickWatch)

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>> sans red knickers, lacoste took center stage
>> the andy roddick show
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fashion focus: le coq sportif

July 13, 2007

I have a confession to make: I am partial to cocks. My godfather used to breed them (for fighting), I was born on the Year of the Rooster, chicken is my white meat of choice, I get cravings for deviled eggs, and, well… the list goes on.

It’s why the goods from Le Coq Sportif — Babel Fish tells me that’s “Sporty Rooster” in French — have a special place in my heart. (It also helps that this clothing line sponsors Italian hottie Potito Starace).

They’ve got some cute clothes:

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My picks, men’s line: Mod Vneck sweater, Tricolors Trapeze bag, Escrime Velcro shoe; middle row: Adam Zipped hoodie, Topaze bag; bottom: Opaque shorts, Arizona track jacket, Actarius polo shirt.

For the women: the Tricolore Minou Minou polo, the Trapeze All Over Print bag, and the Papiki shoe.

LCF in North America: Le Coq Sportif opened an office in Portland, Oregon headed by Tim Cool, a former adidas and Nike executive.

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And they’ve wasted no time expanding their share of the market. Speaking of top-siders, Hypebeast smuggled these pictures of LCF’s casual shoe line (including the one pictured above) out of a Barcelona trade show.

What do you think about their stuff? Tell us.

flashback: nike’s summer ’07 heritage collection (plus a puma bonus)

July 10, 2007

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While Nike was showering Roger Federer with all sorts of fancy clothes at Wimbledon, they quietly put together a Roger line for the Nike Heritage collection. The logo: a crest with three crowns representing his three U.S. Open titles (you can sorta make it out in that center pic). The collection includes a track jacket, a cap, polo shirts, and reversible shorts (pictured). Click here to see the detail on the back of the Dri-fit tee.

Buy: As usual, you can check out Tennis Warehouse.

Bonus (NSFW) round: Photographer Ryan McGinley — one of our faves — produced a video for Puma Mobility, the clothier’s shout-out to urban bicycle riders. View the clip here, and the collection here. (via V magazine)

daniela, we miss the pleats!

July 6, 2007

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We here at Tennis Served Fresh love ourselves some pleats (and I’m not just talking about Masha‘s dress), which is why we were fantasizing that Slovak Daniela Hantuchova and her clothing sponsor, Nike, would bring out a white version of the Avian Dress she wore at this year’s Australian.

Alas, they opted to stay with a skort and tank from the company’s Power Sphere line.

She accessorized with the visor, drop earrings, a silver watch, and a heart-shaped pendant. Well done.

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RELATED POSTS
>> Tennis Served Fresh’s Wimbledon coverage


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