Finally, the secret has been revealed!
After much speculation, Jelena Jankovic announced via her website today that she has signed one of the biggest deals in women's tennis with Chinese sports apparel maker ANTA to be her new clothing sponsor. It's the first time a Chinese brand has partnered with a top lady baller and has designed a range of clothing under the JJ brand.
The slidin' Serb released the following statement about the new sponsorship:
The recent success of the Beijing Olympics has firmly established China’s reputation as a world power in sport. I feel very honoured to be forming a partnership with the leading Chinese sports brand ANTA. I am delighted with the JJ range of products we have developed and I look forward to working with ANTA to promote the development of tennis and the ANTA brand world-wide.In 1994, a shoe manufacturer in the Jinjiang, Fujian province of China named themselves ANTA and the brand was born. They struck a five-year $1.25 million deal with NBA celebrity Shaquille O'Neal in 2006 and also has sponsorship deals NBA stars Damon Jones and Chuck Hayes. This 2008 Reuters article gives more background on ANTA and their move into Nike territory.
I'm on the fence with this move. On the one hand, no numbers have been released in terms of sponsorship money but I assume it was pretty lucrative. But on the other I wonder if they can provide the of type of global marketing and presence the world's top lady baller really deserves. Most importantly, what is this fashion going to look like and do the have a budget for glitter?
In any case, I can't wait to see. And, thanks to DtL reader Sarah for the tip!
(image via Getty)