New Sponsors Stepping Onto Court

Novak Djokovic in ShanghaiA typical Grand Slam tennis match is no longer just about the stroke and bounce, it’s also about branding. The last decade has been dominated with clothing proudly displaying swooshes (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams) and three striped sleeves (Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Caroline Wozniacki) as well as the odd double diamond. It’s been fairly predictable until now. There’s a new goup of fashion and lifestyle brands jumping onto court and they’re putting big money behind the players.

It was a bit of a surprise when Novak Djokovic signed with Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo – a brand known more for its puffy jackets than its sports apparel. But it’s been a complete boon for the Asian company as the tennis player has introduced Uniqlo to a new market through his continued excellent performance.

Six months later, other high street retailers jumped on the bandwagon with Swedish company H&M announcing it had signed up Czech player Tomas Berdych to wear its first tennis line. The success of the partnership has resulted in H&M dressing the Swedish Olympic, Paralympic and Winter Olympic teams.

Next up was New Balance who signed young Canadian Milos Raonic to wear their gear and then UnderArmour who have had an ever increasing deal with Sloane Stephens – both future stars of the Grand Slam circuit. By getting in early these companies will have received excellent bang for their buck – that is, of course, assuming these new players perform up to expectation.

Tennis sponsorship has become a high risk game – a bit like gambling on Jackgold.com. Unlike sponsoring big teams, tennis sponsorship means relying on just one person versus a few potential stars in one team. But the rewards too are high. Thanks to strict laws on branding, only the sponsor’s logo is in sight.

It’s likely we will be seeing many more fast-fashion, high street brands on the court, eroding the market share of Nike and Adidas. It’s all a matter of forecasting at the moment for both players and brands. The rewards could be extremely high.

© photo credit: HEAD Tennis

Li Na – The Purpose behind the Smile

Li Na at the Australian Open

At first glance, Andy Murray and Li Na may appear to have little in common. While they both play tennis and sit within the upper echelons of their sport, for example, they are also separated by vast geographical and cultural differences that are inescapable. Despite this, however, there is one other thing that unites them, as they both carry the hopes of an entire nation on their shoulders every time they step out onto the court. This is a great challenge with both players winning a Grand Slam title and in the case of Murray – two.

Li Na: Bridging the Gap between Western and Eastern Culture

While Li Na may not have reached the heights of Andy Murray or players like Serena Williams in the women’s game, however, she is arguably more influential than any other player in tennis. This is because her immense popularity has spread far beyond the passionate and dedicated fans in her homeland of China, and reached across into the depths of Western culture. By unifying fans across the globe with her talent, personality and Omni-present smile, she has emerged as an icon for an entire generation and bridged the considerable gap between Eastern and Western cultures.

This is no mean feat; even though Li Na is not the first sports start to transcend the reason for her fame. After all, the great Muhammed Ali achieved something similar when he fought George Foreman in Zaire, as his infectious personality and beaming smile won the hearts of African fans and an enthralled global audience. Modern sports stars such as David Beckham and Chris Hoy have also earned widespread global acclaim though the exploits, although Li Na is unique in that she has achieved this without reaching the pinnacle of her game.

The Last Word

In fact, it would be interesting to see how success affected Li Na’s global popularity and status as a multicultural icon. After all, anyone who purchased Wimbledon tickets this year and saw how German Sabine Lisicki was embraced by the British public will testify that the West loves nothing more than a courageous and charismatic underdog. This is undoubtedly a consideration for the future, however, and for now it must be enough to enjoy Li Na’s presence as someone who bridges a significant cultural gap and celebrate the purposefulness behind her smile.

Photo credit: globalite

Australian Open 2014 Tennis Shop

Australian Open 2014 tennis shop

With Christmas just over a month away now is the time to get your discount sporting goods and Australian Open 2014 souvenirs and presents.

The Australian Open tennis shop has his and hers covered plus for children with all the merchandise that you could possibly want. A list of the official merchandise is below.

Pictured is the very popular Australian Open 2014 official men’s player towel, definitely a must for the collection. I certainly snaffled a the French Open men’s player towel not long after entering the grounds at Roland Garros this year!

Australian Open 2014 merchandise:

  • Men’s player towel
  • Women’s player towel
  • T-shirts
  • Polo shirts
  • Headbands
  • Sweatbands
  • Jackets
  • Hoodies
  • Singlets
  • Hats
  • Visors
  • Badges and Pins
  • Keyrings, magnets and bracelets
  • Bags

Australian Open 2014 Ranking Points: Women

Sloane Stephens at Australian Open 2013

The 2014 Australian Open women’s singles event provides a great opportunity for players to achieve three of the top handful of most coveted goals in women’s tennis: winning a Grand Slam title, earning more ranking points towards qualifying for the year-end WTA Championships in Singapore and achieving a career-high ranking.

The four Grand Slam tournaments offer the highest number of ranking points possible out of all the tournaments throughout the year. Interestingly, the 2,000 points a Grand Slam champion earns for winning the title is more than half the total number of points that were needed to qualify for the 2013 WTA Championships.

The quantity of points allocated to the players in the women’s draw are all different to what the male players receive for reaching the same round of the same tournament. The only exception is for that both the women’s and men’s champions collect 2,000 points.

Every other woman in the main draw will receive more points than her male counterpart except for the first round losers. OnCourt Advantage details the women’s points and a comparison to the men’s points, which is the tally in brackets after the women’s points per round below.

This is how the WTA ranking points are awarded for the 2014 women’s singles draw:

The winner earns 2,000 points;
The runner-up earns 1,400 points (1200);
The two semi finalists earn 900 points (720);
The four quarter finalists earn 500 points (360);
The 8 players who lose in the round of 16 earn 280 points (180);
The 16 players who lose in the 3rd round earn 160 points (90);
The 32 players who lose in the 2nd round earn 100 points (45); and
The *players who lose in the 1st round earn 5 points (10).

*The points awarded to a 1st round loser vary according to how they were allocated a place in the 1st round. Further details about each of the different scenarios for points allocation to 1st round losers will be covered in the Australian Open 2014 Women’s Singles Draw: Qualifying post once it is completed.

© photo credit: HEAD Tennis

Australian Open 2014 Prize Money: Men

Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi and Andy Murray at 2013 Australian OpenThe 2014 Australian Open men’s main draw singles event begins on Monday 13 January. The big match that every player wants to participate in – the Men’s Singles Final, will be played on Sunday 26 January.

In 2013, Andre Agassi presented the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup to Novak Djokovic in recognition of Agassi’s fourth and last Australian Open title a decade earlier.

In 2014, Pete Sampras will return to Melbourne Park for the first time since he last competed in 2002 to be honoured on the 20-year anniversary of his first title for the 2014 trophy presentation.

Below OnCourt Advantage details how the prize money is allocated for each round throughout the tournament to make it easier for you to follow the distribution of money.

On October 2, 2013 the Australian Open announced that it will offer record prize money of 33 million Australian Dollars (A$), being an increase of 3 million dollars and up by 7 million dollars in the past two years.

This is how the prize money is awarded for the 2014 men’s singles draw:

  1. The winner earns A$ 2,430,000;
  2. The runner-up earns A$ 1,215,000;
  3. The two semi finalists earn A$ 500,000;
  4. The four quarter finalists earn A$ 250,000;
  5. The 8 players who lose in the round of 16 earn A$ 125,000;
  6. The 16 players who lose in the 3rd round earn A$ 71,000;
  7. The 32 players who lose in the 2nd round earn A$ 45,500; and
  8. The 64 players who lose in the 1st round earn A$ 27,600.

© photo credit: HEAD Tennis

Australian Open 2014 Prize Money: Women

Victoria Azarenka at Australian OpenThe 2014 Australian Open women’s main draw singles event begins on Monday 13 January. The big match that every player wants to participate in – the Women’s Singles Final, will be played on Saturday 25 January.

In 2013, the 11-time Australian Open singles champion – Margaret Court presented the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup to Victoria Azarenka in recognition of the the 24-time Grand Slam singles champions final Australian singles title four decades earlier. 

Below OnCourt Advantage lists what prize money is awarded to the women for every round throughout the tournament to detail how the money is divided up.

For details about the historic record breaking prize money offered by the Australian Open visit the men’s version of the Men’s Australian Open 2014 Prize Money post.

This is how the prize money is awarded for the 2014 women’s singles draw:

  1. The winner earns A$ 2,430,000;
  2. The runner-up earns A$ 1,215,000;
  3. The two semi finalists earn A$ 500,000;
  4. The four quarter finalists earn A$ 250,000;
  5. The 8 players who lose in the round of 16 earn A$ 125,000;
  6. The 16 players who lose in the 3rd round earn A$ 71,000;
  7. The 32 players who lose in the 2nd round earn A$ 45,500; and
  8. The 64 players who lose in the 1st round earn A$ 27,600.

© photo credit: Wilson Tennis 

ATP Tour Finals 2013 Championship Match: Djokovic v Nadal

Novak Djokovic at the ATP Tour Finals in LondonNovak Djokovic won back-to-back ATP World Tour Finals titles and for his third time (also in 2008), by defeating Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 in 1 hour 36 minutes. The 2013 year-end World No.2 collected US$1,923,000 in prize money and earned the maximum 1,500 ATP Ranking points by going undefeated with five straight wins against Top 10 ranked opponents.

Nole has now defeated Rafa twice in a row and by the same score line (China Open in Beijing) to set a 51-5 hard court record this year plus go to 13-7 versus Nadal on his beloved hard courts. The 1.85m Spaniard and the 1.88m Serbian have gone head-to-head more times than any other duo in the open-era with 39 (22-17 in Rafa’s favour).

In just the 5th No.1 versus No.2 final in the 44-year history of the year-end tournament (but third time in the past 4 years), the 26-year-old Djokovic equalled his 2nd longest career winning streak by notching up win No.22. In 2010-2011 the 6-time Grand Slam singles champion won 43 consecutive singles matches.

Djokovic won his seventh singles title this year, a 72nd win to 9 losses, collecting three Masters 1000 titles and the Australian Open in 2013 and still has the Davis Cup final in his hometown to look forward too.

The 27-year-old Nadal won US$1,013,000 and earned 1,000 ATP Ranking points to finish with a 75-7 win-less record in 2013 plus the coveted World No.1 ranking. Rafa won 10 singles titles in 2013 including Roland Garros, the US Open and 5 Masters 1000 trophies.

We can’t wait to have the women’s WTA yera-end finals equivalent to these men’s Tour Finals here in Singapore in 2014!!!

© photo courtesy of HEAD Tennis

Australian Open 2014

Australian Open The Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific

The 2014 Australian Open is run by Tennis Australia and is held at Melbourne Park. It is the only Grand Slam in the southern hemisphere and in all of the Asia/Pacific region.

The “Aussie Open” has been held since 1905 and changed from being played on grass to hard courts in 1988.

OnCourt Advantage makes it easier for YOU to find the information you are looking for by listing each web page related to the Australian Open below.

This link provides you information on how to buy your-> Official 2014 Australian Open tennis tickets.

I encourage you to “Follow” the Australian Open on Twitter like I do, the official handle is @AustralianOpen and the official 2014 hashtag is #ausopen.

Please “Like” the official Australian Open Facebook page just as I do by pasting http://www.facebook.com/AustralianOpen into your address bar then click “Like” once you are there.

This first of four Grand Slams tournaments is one of the men’s and women’s “BIG 14″ MAJOR prestigious events each year. The 2014 edition run from the first day of qualifying on Wednesday 8 January through to Sunday 26 January for the Men’s Singles Final.

The 2013 women’s singles champion was Victoria Azarenka who defeated Li Na in the final 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The 2013 singles champion was Novak Djokovic who defeated Andy Murray in the final 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-2.

  1. Australian Open 2014 Ranking Points: Men
  2. Australian Ope 2014 Ranking Points: Women
  3. Australian Open 2014 Prize Money: Men
  4. Australian Open 2014 Prize Money: Women
  5. Australian Open 2014 Women’s Schedule of Play
  6. Australian Open 2014 Men’s Schedule of Play
  7. Australian Open 2013

 

 

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