August 26, 2007

Brand Tally for U.S. Open Draws

Well, after several tedious hours of going through the ATP site to look up each player in the player in both draws for the 2007 US Open, I tallied the brands in the mix for shoes, apparel and racquets. A lot of the players don't have contracts (the TBDs).

For racquets, the big winner was Head, followed by Wilson, Babolat and Prince. No surprises here, except that I was a little shocked to see someone actually playing with a Volkl. Apparel? adidas and Nike are on the top of the heap, especially with the ranked and/or exciting players. Two brands cropped up from Argentina (Topper) and France (Airness Apparel). Interesting, although I found it difficult to find much out about them. Shoes. Hmmm....who could the top brands be....Nike and adidas? You bet, with 20 and 16, respectively. Topper showed up again in this list, as did another brand (I believe from Europe?) called Signia. Plus, Boris Becker's line of footwear and apparel, on none other than Benjamin Becker.

The big surprise to me in this tally was the number of players who had no sponsor whatsoever (at least as far as the WTA website has determined). 77 players - really shocking to me, especially given the popularity of many of the Eastern block women players and the Williams sisters. But maybe those players take up all the sponsorship money? Bartoli...BARTOLI...doesn't have a sponsor? The finalist at this year's French Open? Cinderella story? Do the companies figure she's a fluke? I don't get it.

Two other notes on the apparel and shoes...Venus Williams new EleVen line will make its debut, on Venus, at the Open. I did not however, count them, I used her Nike/Wilson sponsors. Also check out the German brand Erima, worn by Sybille Bammer.

adidas led the pack definitively in shoes and apparel, at least doubling Nike on both counts. For racquets, Wilson and Prince were the leaders, but not by much.

As the tourney progresses, we'll be giving updates on how each brand is fairing. Obviously, the #'s are lopsided for adidas, Nike, Wilson and Head. But we'll fill you in anyway - see how it plays out.

What else did we learn from this?
1) I have too much time on my hands
2) I have an unhealthy interest in tennis equipment
3) I need to go play tennis instead of writing about it

Read More in: Apparel | Footwear | Products of the Pros | Racquets | US Open

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Posted by Bob Wallace at August 26, 2007 4:14 PM
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