What's All This Racquet About Branding?

What A Racquet

So Wimbledon is here again, and tennis lovers everywhere can go through the agonies and ecstacies with their ball smashing heroes.

The men’s champion will probably be from the usual suspects – Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal* – and all 4 know the power of a personal logo.

Branding a sports star is not a new concept, but tennis was one of the first to exploit the commercial advantages of a sporting legend.

In the 1950’s, an Englishman who had won Wimbledon three times, launched a slim-fit, collared, cotton pique shirt with a laurel wreath design. Fred Perry the brand was born. Adopted by Mods, skinheads, Britpoppers amongst others, the name, style and icon was, and is, a fantastic success.

People will mention a ‘Fred Perry shirt’ without knowing who the guy is. It’s hard to imagine any of our modern tennis brands being so relevant after 60 years.

Novak Djokovic [seeded No. 1]

  • An interlocking ‘N’ and ‘D’ that, according to this video, is inspired by medieval balkan typography and birds in flight. Obviously.

Roger Federer [seeded No. 2]

  • A nod towards the fashion typography of Armani, Gucci etc.
  • Assumes a classic, timeless sophistication, much like the way he plays the game.

Andy Murray [seeded No. 3]

  • Slanted lines form an ‘A’ and an ‘M’ and also the number ’77’
  • Murray’s Wimbledon victory was on 7/7 and was he was the first Mens’ British champion since, you guessed it, Mr Perry, 77 years earlier.

Rafael Nadal [seeded No. 10]

  • Reflecting Rafa’s muscular game and spanish-ness, this stylised bull was designed for him by Nike and each of the reflected shapes do have similarities to the famous swoosh.

Love all?

*Nadal won’t win, there, I’ve said it…

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