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Big Champions’losses

Those last days were bad for tennis champions. Roger Federer and Serena Williams both lost in the quaterfinals of their clay tournaments. Justine Henin was ousted in the 4th round of the Berlin tournament.

Let’s start with the ladies: Justine Henin, current world number 1, suffered another defeat in Berlin (German Open).

The belgian lost to Dinara Safina in the 4th round, World 13, in 3 sets: 5/7 6/2 6/1. The russian beat Justine for the first time after 6 defeats. It was an intense match, Safina did not stop fighting and it paid off against the belgian known to be the best player in the world, and moreover, the best on clay! Therefore, this win is a sweet revenge and the first performance of the year for Marat Safin’s little sister. It is Justine’s 4th defeat of the year: Sharapova, Williams, and Schiavone passed her lately…  Henin only won in Sydney and Antwerp so far. A quite disappointing start for the World number 1, who dominated the tour last year. In the interview after her loss in Berlin, Justine confessed that she lacked confidence. A quality she had to get back before the French Open starting in two weeks…. and Dinara is not the one to neglect!

It seems that Dinara is on her way! The russian stopped another champion, Serena Williams, in the quaterfinals, right after beating Henin in the 4th round the day before! Safina ousted Williams for the first time of her career after a three-set killer: 2/6 6/1 7/6 (7/5). The match could have gone either way as both players rallied to a tie-break, in a match filled with big groundstrokes from the baseline, and oustanding shots. Safina held on and managed to outplay Williams.

Safina snatches a 20-match-win streak from Williams. The american last loss was in….January, where she succumbed to Jelena Jankovic at the Australian Open; she then went on to win 3 titles in row ( Bangalore, Miami, and Charleston), remained unbeaten until Safina prevented her from capturing another title.

On the ATP Tour, World number 1, Roger Federer, was suprisingly evicted from the Masters in Rome, beaten by Radek Stepanek, world number 25: 7/6 7/6 in the quaterfinals. Federer seemed unable to have the upper hand on Stepanek, who beat the best player in the world for the second time of his career.

Since the beginning of 2008, Roger only captured one title: in Estoril, after Davydenko’s walkover in the finals.

The swiss seems out of sorts, uncomfortable with his game, striving to play well.  » Fedex » looks « takeable » on court, which hasn’t happened for a long long time! Therefore, rivalries heat up, with Nadal and Djokovic behind his back,  » King Federer » has to put himself together immediately!

Roger Federer is not unbeatable anymore…

It’s like players were unable to figure out how to beat world number one, Roger Federer, for almost 5 years now…yes, it’s been 5 years since « Fedex » took the world number one chair and never lost it! Andy Roddick knew how it felt like to lose to Roger.

Indeed, the American player lost to him 15 times out of 16 matches…before the quaterfinals of Miami this year where Roddick finally managed to come up with a second win over Federer.  A second win coming after 11 successive defeats! It’s useless saying that Andy was waiting for this one for a long time!

Roger was crushed 6/7 6/4 3/6 and seems uncomfortable with his game. Just like Justine Henin, the first lights of 2008 were signed with a defeat in the Australian Open, losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. With this loss against Roddick, it is Federer second straight showdown  in a major tournament. Is his throne threatened?

 

Serena’s revenge…Venus waves goodbye

I’m not just talking about sportsmarketing issues on my blog. In the term « Sportsmarketing », the most important part is « Sports », therefore i will give my personal opinion on tournaments, players and current news related to the sport.

That’s the reason why i will comment the hottest news on tour these days, and THE event this week on planet tennis, is the tournament of MIAMI (former Key Biscayne) where the world best players compete.

Among those players, there is SERENA WILLIAMS, 4th-time-winner of the event and reigning champion. I’m the biggest fan of Miss Williams, and i want her to win every match she’s playing because, i think she’s the best player tennis has revealed those last years. Apart from having the most grand slams in her racket(8) compared to any other player on tour right now, Serena is THE FIERCEST competitor out there! On tuesday, the American player booked her ticket for the semis, after outwitting world number one, JUSTINE HENIN, with an impressive 6/2 6/0 win.

It was their 13th match, and Serena is now leading 7-6. A sweet revenge for Williams…whose last 3 matches against the belgian turned out the wrong way for her. Indeed, Henin defeated Williams 3 times in a row last year: at the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. It goes without saying that the American was longing to stop the series… and she did it in an unspeakable way. Henin was completely crushed, and looked unable to compete with her opponent on the game. Williams who is used to having error-strewn matches, almost didn’t make any, preventing the belgian from expressing her game. This victory over the best player in the world somehow predicts another title for Serena in Miami, we’ll see…

As for Justine, it’s urgent she questions herself on her game…indeed, since the first lights of 2008, Justine has troubles winning, the surprise came MARIA SHARAPOVA at the Australian Open, who whipped her with a 6/4 6/0 win in the quaterfinals and from the italian FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE, who slumped her in Indian Wells two weeks ago.

 For the oldest Williams, Venus, Russian SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA prevented her from meeting her sister in the semis in straight sets: 6/4 6/4. Venus didn’t play consistent tennis although she fought hard to come back in the match, her opponent took advantage of it. Therefore, Kuznetsova will play Serena in the semis for a spot in the finals !

Les quatre tournois du Grand Chelem: Machine à sponsors?

A l’aube où le tennis connaît une popularité sans précédent, on peut alors constater un acharnement des sponsors sur les Grands Evénements, qui font du tennis, ce qu’il représente aujourd’hui.

En effet, les quatre tournois du Grand Chelem qui sont: l’Open d’Australie (Sydney), Roland Garros ( Paris), Wimbledon (Grande-Bretagne) et l’US Open ( Flushing Meadows, New York), sont la quintessence même du sport. Ces quatre tournois majeurs définissent la grandeur de l’athlète, si celui-ci parvient à s’emparer des quatre tournois dans la même année ou à cheval d’une année à l’autre. Peu de joueurs y sont effectivement arrivés, mais l’exploit n’est pas impossible. Au delà du sport en lui-même,  les quatre tournois du Grand Chelem rassemblent un flopée de sponsors, pour qui les événements sont un investissement financier colossal: on peut entre autre citer des marques tels que BNP Paribas, IBM, Rolex, Kia Motors, qui sont les sponsors officiels des 4 événements.

Le chiffre d’affaires de ces entreprises triplent au moment des événements, du fait pour les organisateurs des tournois de laisser transparaître ces marques lors des retransmissions télévisées, à la radio, ou sur tout autre support de communication relatif aux tournois.  Quand on pense aux contrats que les athlètes ont déjà avec ces différentes marques, on ne peut s’empêcher de penser que le jeu en vaut bien la chandelle, et cela justifie que les entreprises se précipitent afin de figurer dans les sponsors officiels de ces tournois.

Plus les années passent, plus on remarque une démultiplication de ces marques lors des tournois, qui témoignent d’un intérêt particulier pour ce sport, qui représente tout de même, une forme de prestige aux yeux des entreprises qui décident de se prendre au jeu.

Ces sponsors, participent à l’essor du sport, et financent par la même occasion des programmes pour développer le tennis à travers le monde. Mais on ne peut se priver de remettre l’enjeu financier de cette participation, comme principale motivation. 

Introduction…

Hello Everybody!             

My name is René OBAME NGUEMA ONDO. I have decided to create my own blog in order to interact with people who would be interested by my profile. Professionals, students, and people who feel the need to communicate with me through this blog, are welcome! Indeed, as i have just finished my studies, i am willing to work in sportsmarketing and particularly tennis related. My passion for the sport pushed me to create this blog, with the ultimate goal to discuss and analyse with you whatever is going on in sportsmarketing today, especially in tennis. On this blog, you will uncover my interests, ideas and thoughts on marketing directed to tennis and sports in general. Check out this blog and enjoy! PS: As i speak both french and english, you will also find some articles and links in French!

Marketing in tennis today, linked forever?

Can we say that today marketing is entirely part of tennis?

Some may say that the question should not even be asked, others may weigh the pros and cons before answering the tricky question. What is for sure, is that nowadays, we are living in an era where the product is king, whatever the product is. Anything that can lead people to be interested in tennis, should be seriously considered. Those recent years, we have seen tennis players more than ever before, praising the benefits of famous brands such as Gillette, Nike, Reebok, Rolex, Air etc… and most recently, Maria Sharapova, who can be considered as the most powerful tennis player in terms of media exposure, prize money and endorsement contracts with fashionnable brands. Because what you have to know is that today, endorsement contracts are not just shoe and clothing deals for the player, it also includes advertising for products that are not necessarily linked with tennis. For this reason, you can see today, Maria Sharapova being the new spokesperson for Colgate. Even a 5-year old can see the link between a toothpaste brand and a famous female tennis player, right?

The reason is that tennis players have understood that to gain media exposure, they had to sell themselves through the products they are offering. Not only the products will attract people who identify the players ( because it shows that they are kind of knowledgeable on tennis), but also, it will boost the brand’s image and increase the players’ popularity.

The famous magazine « Forbes » revealed its ‘Celebrity 100′ list:  Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams, are the tennis athletes who are the most critically acclaimed this year. Which is mostly due to the important number of brands they are contracted with… let us not forget their astonishing sports achievements  for sure…

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