Nike and Tennis
Nike has over 40 years’ experience with the tennis court. Consistently, they have come up with on-and off-court styles for sports men and women. Let us go back to 1973 when Nike had its Nike Waffle Racer and Nike Boston, which were created for international runners. The company aim was to venture into other sports besides the tracks.
In 1972 to 1973, Nike sent envoys to the Rainier International Tennis Classic. They encounter an energetic Roman player with clever antics, eccentric styles, and many wins. He was similar to Steve Prefontaine, the company’s American star runner. In 1972, he narrowly missed a medal in Munich, but his name still lives on. The Romanian Player wore the Nike shoes claimed the top rank. Five years later, the Nike collaborated with a rebellious player as it NikeCourt DNA continued to take root.
John McEnroe was a talented rebel who would do the Nike’s footwear and court apparel. The McEnroe collection included a red swoosh and ‘Mc’ emblem for his footwear. The apparel featured black, blue and read. His preferred show was the Nike Air Trainer 1.
Next Nike signed Andre Agassi in 1986 when he was only 16 years. Subsequently, Nike came up with the Agassi collection. The shoes were the Air Tech Challenge II that came in florescent orange and detailed using teal green. With Nike, Agassi become a skilled, disciplined player with many wins. His looks were often described as the “pirate look due to the printed shorts, and bandanas.
Nike’s next player was Pete Sampras who was a California native. He signed in 1993 who would combine the styles of Sampras and Agassi. In 1997, Roger Federer from Switzerland joined the growing entourage of products. Rafael Nadal, from Mallorca, also joined the Nike’s family. As the number of male tennis players increased, so did the women. The first female athlete to wear the company’s products from head to toe was Mary Joe Fernandez in 1993. However, Nike had started a series of sponsorship for female tennis players in the 80’s. As Nike worked with female athletes, the possibilities, and potential, become apparent. In 2000, they signed the young Russian player Maria Sharapova. The first thing Nike did was reviving the tennis dress.
In 2004, the Serena Williams became a Nike player. She had a Serena dress, which was satin. Most of her court battles have been in Nike’s shoes and apparel. The company has collaborated with her on numerous projects.
From the first time Nike rolled out its first tennis shoes, NikeCourt designs have delivered functionality and form. In addition, the sports apparel and clothing celebrate and enumerate aspects of the athletes’ demeanour. In 2005, they also Nike signed Rafael Nadal who is currently the best player in the world. He became a pro at 15 after an armature career of 12 years. In 2017, he is still the “King of Clay” after 10th career title at the French Open. Looking back, Nike and tennis has been a happy union.