Last week, Milos Raonic was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Gilles Simon in three sets at the Queen’s Club tournament. Despite the loss, Raonic did not come home empty-handed. In 2013, after only five years of going pro, the young Canadian tennis star inked a sponsorship deal with New Balance. Days ago, the 8th ranked player in the world, announced alongside New Balance’s corporate team, that they would be extending the length of his contract not for another five years, but for the length of the player’s career, and beyond.
At the press conference, New Balance’s general manager of tennis Bruce Schilling said, “Milos has been a great contributor to a number of teams of New Balance. He’s contributed to product teams, providing feedback and insight and development of design of product. He’s also worked with our training team. He’s spent a lot of time with our sales team around the world and the same with our consumer group.” (Yahoo Sports Canada) As for Raonic’s thoughts on working with the brand for the rest of his life, “I have been very fortunate to work alongside the great team at New Balance for the past two plus years. Their openness to new ideas and development of their tennis product has been something I’ve been very honoured to be a part of and help develop. This new chapter in our relationship is something very uncommon in tennis and I am looking forward to seeing what new and creative ideas will arise as I continue to grow in this sport.” (NewBalance.com)
A lifelong contract with a brand is definitely unique, however, similar to most sports, sponsorship deals are par for the course. Wondering who is married to who? Here are three more of our favourite pairings and why we love them:
It’s no surprise that a big-gun like Nike vied for the affection of this fashionable powerhouse.
Why we love it? The two have worked together to develop gear that doesn’t compromise her personal style, whatsoever.
The Japanese street-style brand made their way into the sporting apparel arena when they first signed Japanese wheelchair tennis sensation Shingo Kunieda in 2009.
Why we love it? With Djokovic ranked number 1 in the world, Uniqlo seems to be en route to becoming a fierce contender in the world of winning tennis style. And against longtime heavy hitters like Nike and Adidas, we can’t help but love a good underdog story.
While the brand has their hands in several endorsements, no one wears them as effortlessly as Wozniacki.
Why we love it? Wozniacki inked the deal herself at the tender age of 10 after making a cold call to the company directly. By 13, she took her first international deal with Nike, but after her 2006 Wimbledon win she explained to the Wall Street Journal that her first order of business was to return to Adidas; not for the money, but because they were the first to believe in her.
Who would you want to sponsor your on-court style? Like Raonic, choose wisely, it could be a lifelong commitment!