in the shadow of the best, the hassle of the poorly ranked against sponsors

Beyond the 100th place in the world, the prospects of a sponsorship contract are reduced for these players and resourcefulness is often the key word.

For the better off, the qualifying battle began on Monday May 22, with the aim of integrating the main draw at Roland-Garros. But for most players, the fortnight will be watched on television. For these, the consequences are also financial. In addition to a substantial nest egg (69,000 euros for a first round at Porte d’Auteuil, roughly the equivalent of the costs incurred for a season), it is also the promise of significant media exposure that flies away for those misclassified. And with it, the impossibility of signing sponsorship contracts to equip themselves and even finance part of their season.

Among them, Antoine Hoang, ranked beyond the 300th place in the world. In 2019, the Frenchman obtained a wild card and achieved his biggest career performance by beating the Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, then seeded number 23. After these results, the 23-year-old player made, a few weeks later, a brief foray into the top 100. But even before his journey on Parisian clay, the Lotto brand had him sign an equipment supplier contract “on the long term”, in his own words, 10,000 euros a year, with bonuses depending on the final ranking at the end of each season. Up to 40,000 euros more, if he finished in the top 75 of the ATP ranking.

The art of resourcefulness to equip yourself

Unlimited endowments and a written contract are now a privilege reserved for an elite. For Marine Partaud, on the circuit for ten years, daily life is very different. “I was at New Balance for four years, but I never signed a contract. They sent me boxes during the Grand Slams“, explains the current 418th player in the world. On the equipment supplier side, if the Frenchwoman does not pay for her rackets, she multiplies the operations, in particular with the Lacoste brand to obtain outfits and bags in return. “I was lucky to have always been ‘marketable’. I’m not the worst off of the girls in my ranking, but it’s very limited. I can’t imagine girls who are in less developed and attractive countries.

Despite this, resourcefulness often resurfaces. “For shoes, it runs out very quickly and when you’re not on a long-term contract or you’re in between, I’ve had to buy one or two pairs myself on Vinted at 40 bucks, to try to get by“, says the 28-year-old player.

“I know top 100 who have boxes and boxes of clothes that they leave in plastic. They should give them less and distribute more widely, give to others.”

Marine Partaud, 418th player in the world

at franceinfo: sport

Not everyone finds shoes that fit. Antoine Hoang saw his adventure with Lotto come to an end after a year because the models he tried on no longer suited him, due to fragile ankles.I had to change shoes and the contract ended for that. You can have a brand that offers a good contract with lots of business and money, but if the model doesn’t suit you, you can’t sacrifice that.“Fallen to 343rd in the world, the protege of Lionel Zimbler is now in partnership with Adidas, but without a financial contract.

Other solutions exist such as patches on jerseys. Some players can hit the jackpot in the Major for a well-exposed match on a big court, as explained by Alizé Lim, former 135th player in the world and now a journalist at Eurosport: “Mary Cohr is a cosmetics brand very present on the women’s circuit, which can, for example, line up 10,000 euros for a player to wear a patch on the shirt during big games.“However, the number is limited and several major brands do not allow players to use other sponsors on their kits.

A trend towards casualization

The future does not look any better for these shadow players, as the big brands tend to target their interest for the top of the global pyramid. “In short, 20 years ago there were 50 sponsored players, today there are far fewer, but an elite who will make a difference. It’s not taking credit away from others, it’s an exceptional performance to be in the top 100, but from a brand point of view, the interest is less there.“, explains Philippe Weiss, former director at Nike Europe and current agent of Holger Rune and Arthur Fils. Whoever signed Rafael Nadal with the comma brand identifies three essential aspects to be able to sponsor a player: “A large market, a charismatic player and potential on the pitch.

“There was a time when brands had more players to grow their image and presence. Now there are fewer and fewer sponsored players because the big brands are established.”

Philippe Weiss, ex-Nike Europe, current agent of Holger Rune and Arthur Fils

at franceinfo: sport

If Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal do not have to worry because they have managed to exist beyond their sport, not all are housed in the same boat, even among the gratin. “In tennis, you can fall quickly. Even Andy Murray lost sponsors because he came out of the world’s top players“, recalls Lionel Maltese, economist and specialist in the yellow ball. For the poorly classified, precariousness is here to stay.

2023-05-25 04:00:01
#shadow #hassle #poorly #ranked #sponsors



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