Friday, January 16, 2015
What do Serena Williams, Milos Raonic, David Goffin, Madison Keys, and Gael Monfils have in common? The Wilson Blade is their weapon of choice. The racket maker has announced the next generation of Blades that includes four new models: BLADE 98 16x19, BLADE 98 18x20, BLADE 98S and BLADE 104.
The BLADE is the second attacker-focused product to emerge from Wilson’s new PlayerID system. For this system, Wilson categorized three core playing styles in today’s game: Baseliner, Attacker and All Courter. The PlayerID system helps players better select products that speak to their playing style and enhance their overall performance on the court. The introduction of the next generation BLADE rackets follows Wilson’s highly successful re-invention of its attacker-style Pro Staff franchise, which launched in 2014.
“BLADE is an incredible story of how to take performance tennis engineering and design to the next level,” said Hans-Martin Reh, General Manager, Racquet Sports. “We really dug into the playing style of attacker athletes and what they need to optimize their game. Then we looked at materials, construction, string pattern, weight, head size and feel, to design a racket that gives these powerful players greater control, feel and a bigger sweet spot.”
The new 2015 BLADE features a bold, new design with lime green accents on a sleek, black base, and is technology-packed. Evolutionary Braided Graphite and Basalt construction allows the BLADE to be more elastic and reactive at the point of contact for enhanced feel and greater control. The racket also includes Wilson’s Parallel Drilling, a technology that ensures the racket’s grommet holes are parallel with the string bed. This expands the sweet spot size by up to 26 percent, resulting in more power and a forgiving feel.
Further, the BLADE 98S delivers precision spin through Wilson’s patented Spin Effect Technology, which creates 200+ more RPM’s on every shot and enables players to get more balls in the court. And the BLADE 104, Serena William’s racket of choice, has a larger head size and bigger sweet sport.
The BLADE is available for pre-order now at select retailers and will be in retail stores and on Wilson.com in mid-January.
[Photo(s) credit: Wilson]
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray are known as the "Big 4" of men's tennis. But after today, they are also now known as the "Big 4" of...personal branding?
The Brit baller unveiled his personal logo, designed by Aesop, ahead of the year's first major, the Australian Open, that kicks off next week. It will be showcased on his tennis bag and on his warm-up t-shirts provided by new clothing sponsor, Under Armour. Their 4-year partnership was announced last month.
The inspiration behind the logo was the number 77, a reference to the number of years between the last British man to lift the Wimbledon trophy, Fred Perry, and Muzz's triumph at SW19 in 2013. (It also happens to be the name of his management company.) The logo combines the number 77 with his initials.
So how does Muzz's logo stack up to the other members of the Big 4?
Federer's, the first to be unveiled, does what logos are supposed to do. When you see the logo, it's instantly recognizable and you know who it's referencing. Plus, the use of negative space is smart and it represents Fed's brand values of quality, precision, and timelessness.
The bull logo for Rafa fits him perfectly. Strong, stubborn, hard working, and determined are all qualities represented by the bull and qualities the Spaniard displays every time he steps onto the tennis court.
There are two reasons why the eagle motif was used for Nole's logo; it's the national bird of his home country, Serbia, and it represents his style on the court. The eagle is hard to make out here, but the use of long, curved lines does mimic the world number one's supreme agility and flexibility on the court.
Ironically, Muzz's logo is somewhat reminiscent of the adidas logo with the use of three lines. Compared to the other three, I find it rigid and flat, which he can sometimes be when he's not playing well. But it's no-nonsense and does without any fuss. There's something very Muzz about that, too. So I guess it's perfect. I also see a pitchfork. Carry on.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Here are some images of the Uniqlo duds No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori, and men's wheelchair champion, Shingo Kunieda, are said to be wearing at the 2015 Australian Open.
There's not much to say about these looks. In typical Uniqlo style, they're pretty basic. It's what we've come to expect from the Japanese retail giant for their ballers.
[Photo(s) credit: tt.tennis-warehouse.com/]
Friday, January 9, 2015
If you needed more evidence that the Kei Nishikori brand is blowing up globally, here you go.
The U.S. Open finalist is featured on the cover of the January 19 issue of TIME magazine under the headline 'The Way of Kei'. Kei posted on his Facebook page that he is "very honored" to be the magazine's cover star.
Nissin Cup Noodle also released their latest commercial featuring their global brand ambassador. In the spot, Kei is outfitted to resemble Miyamoto Musashi, and he brandishes a wooden sword carved from a paddle just as the Japanese sword master was said to have done in his famous battle with Sasaki Kojiro. Apparently, Kei actually hit the shots seen in the spot with the wooden sword - no special effects needed.
With those moves, I'm sensing a video game starring Kei is in the works. Because that would be AMAZE.
[Kotaku.com, photo(s) credit: TIME]
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Fila has released the gear their ballers will be working at the 2015 Australian Open. The new Platinum collection offers a cohesive range of fashions, marked by fresh new fabrics, design details that showcase a high-end flavor, and stand-out styles. Training pieces were created to complement tennis apparel, for complete looks that can easily be worn on and off-court. As Fila’s most advanced line yet, technology is a crucial component of the Platinum story.
Jelena Jankovic, pictured above, will be wearing the Platinum dress ($90) in white and, appropriately, diva pink.
Germany's Julia Goerges will be sporting the Platinum wide racerback tank ($75) in diva pink/pirate charcoal and the Platinum skort ($75) in diva pink/pirate charcoal.
The women's collection also features a range of complementary pieces highlighted by the Platinum woven jacket, in silver/diva pink, which features embossed FILA neck taping, a bungee puller and stopper at curved bottom hem, a hood with drawcord, and front zippered pockets with lockdown pullers. The Platinum full zip jacket and pant, Platinum shorts, and Platinum capris with tennis ball pockets on the sides round out the collection.
American Sam Querrey will be wearing the Platinum zip placket polo shirt ($75) in white/navy power and the Platinum short ($60) in navy power/shocking orange.
Italy's Andreas Seppi will be sporting the Platinum laser cut top ($65) in navy power/shocking orange and the Platinum short ($60) in navy power/shocking orange.
The Platinum half-zip top and pants complete the men's collection. All styles are available at Fila.com.
[Photo(s) credit: Fila]
Monday, January 5, 2015
Hello 2015! I may be up and ready for the New Year, but the same can't be said for Serena Williams. The top lady baller is in Perth, Australia, for the Hopman Cup where she's teaming up with John Isner. She was facing off against Flavia Pennetta when the Italian fed her a bagel in the first set. That's when ReRe decided she needed to kick it up a notch, so she did what any of us would do - she ordered an on-court espresso. Personally, I would've gone for a triple shot mocha with whipped cream. Delish.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
What's up, DtL readers?
I wanted to let you know I'll be back to regular posting once the new tennis season begins. Since my last update, I've been busy working on a portfolio for my work and I really wanted to focus on it. It's taken some time but I'm happy to announce that it's live at RichRodriguezWrites.com. You can find links to my writing and PR work there.
In the meantime, enjoy the Davis Cup final, the off-season, and see you in 2015!
Thursday, October 9, 2014
A striking Ana Ivanovic is featured on the cover and in a feature story for the Fall Fashion and Travel issue of Bella magazine. The magazine asked the former top lady baller about dating and relationships.
I would say, yes - there is always time, if you meet the right person. One of the downsides of the job is that I am travelling so much, and I don't have so much time to go out and socialise, as people who have a more traditional job might do, so it's hard. I don't meet too many guys.Ana was formerly linked to ATP baller Fernando Verdasco and golfer Adam Scott. She was most recently rumored to have dated German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger.
[Via: Daily Mail UK; Photo(s) credit: Bella NYC Magazine]
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Here's a story for all of you up-and-coming ballers out there that I'd like you to hear.
You're a veteran on the ATP tour (Fabio Fognini) and you come up against a wild card ranked 553 in the world (Wang Chuhan), who is playing his first match on said tour in front of his country people in Shanghai. The match also happens to be the first round of a Masters 1000, a pretty big stage. Shockingly, he beats you 7-6 (5), 6-4 and is understandably ecstatic while you're understandably disappointed. So how do you react to this moment?
CHOICE A: Purposefully bump into your conqueror
CHOICE B: Flip off the crowd
CHOICE C: All of the above because I'm a total ass hat.
CHOICE D: None of the above. I'm bummed but he earned it. Kudos!
Sadly, this veteran baller chose C. You would hope these professionals would know how to act because, well, they're professionals. Not this baller.
The moral of this story? DON'T BE AN ASS HAT KIDS.
[Photo credit: Getty Images]
Monday, October 6, 2014
Remember that time Maria Sharapova eye-spied a fellow passenger reading about her on a flight and tweeted about it? And remember how I was on-the-floor shocked that she, a former world No. 1 and 5-time Grand Slammer, was riding alongside her minions in coach class? Well, the Sugar Queen got an upgrade in more ways than one.
Hey buddy, remember me? I got an upgrade and a front page picture. Miss you xoxo #whatadifferenceaweekmakes pic.twitter.com/Syzn4832FB
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 6, 2014
Winning big titles makes EVERYTHING POSSIBLE.