Google Down the Line!: FASHION FIX: JJ signs landmark sponsorship deal with Chinese brand ANTA

Sunday, January 18, 2009

FASHION FIX: JJ signs landmark sponsorship deal with Chinese brand ANTA

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)


  1. I wonder how lucrative this deal could be considering they only gave Shaq $1.25 million for FIVE YEARS! That's pennies in athletics these days. But it sounds like they gave her more freedom to design and promote her own line and she doesn't have any other big tennis player to compete with so....


  2. You can check out my latest post, there's a pic of how the shoe looks like.

  3. Lisa: HA! Good point but obvs it's one of many and he apparently also was signed at one point or another with Li-Ning the other major Chinese sports brand.

    To your point, I bet there were also less "commitments" or requirements written into their contract and more creative freedom than at Nike or any other place.

    Essentially she'll get her own line and not have to grovel for the ANTA too much - WIN WIN WIN!

    I just hope the clothing looks good and performs well.

  4. I agree with Lisa. 1.25 mil for a 5 year deal with Shaq. My guess is she went to Nike, Adidas etc with big numbers and they said no and Anta jumped at the chance to get a number 1 tennis player.

  5. Never heard of Anta before but hey, there's a first for everthing, right?

    But didn't JJ say EVERYBODY was interested? And that's what she comes up with???
    I truely hope they pay her big, and I mean BIG, bugs to wear their stuff, because I doubt that we will hear or see anything from her ad wise outside of Asia.
    It's kinda sad because I hoped that by signing with a big apparel company she would finally move up the ranks and get on par with the likes of Shrieka, Rena, Vee or even Ana, but I doubt that will happen now.
    What concerns me most though is that she will have her own line! I'm sure it's gonna be bright, it's gonna be flashy (too flashy) and it's probably make Mattek look like a true fashionista! LOL

  6. Maja don't forget the fact that Asia is almost half the world population, and great ( BIG ) market (tennis wise, too) everyone wants to succeed in, so it will pay off whatever the deal is, especially if they come up with some interesting stuff (they have designers from Japan, USA, as I understand, so it won't be just JJ design ) .
    It seems to me that Jelena just tells someone oh, I like this color, this shape, this would be soooo comfortable, and someone else does all the work, and voila JJ designed that.

  7. True, but how does she want to attract other sponsors, when she's only big in Asia? And don't forget that Nike & Adidas surely know how to work the Asian market as well...
    Yeah, your probably right about the designing thing. Doesn't it take quite some time for new designs to come out anyway? Retail and such?

  8. Everything is manufactured in China, JJ just goes back to the roots.

  9. At least in the US market, trending and design are usually completed at least a year before the line would even hit retail.

    I'm wondering if she's getting a huge profit margin payoff here as well. Maybe the upfront monies are on the mid to lower end but the profits she could earn will really large if the manufacturing costs are low ad if she promotes the hell out of it and sells the products.

  10. Three year deal for US$5.1M


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