There has always been a significant crossover between tennis and fashion. From the Rene Lacoste era through to the present day, the sports biggest names are regularly seen adorned in some of fashion and sportswear’s most recognisable brands. We take a look at three players who have become strongly associated with their chosen labels over the last fifty years.
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Roger Federer – Nike
Federer’s switch to Uniqlo in 2018 unsurprisingly raised plenty of eyebrows, with the Swiss bringing the curtain down on a 14-year partnership with Nike. His new contract is believed to be worth an estimated $300million, although the 20-time Grand Slam champion is always likely to be associated with the swoosh.
The 37-year-old was hugely successful whilst wearing Nike branding, and he will forever be remembered for his stylish, yet muted, appearance. Federer was also famed for his monogrammed ‘RF’ Nike-branded sports shoes, and he has continued to wear these on the court despite the expiration of his deal.
He made the switch ahead of Wimbledon 2018, but he will forever be associated with Nike, and all eight of his titles at SW19, and each of his six Australian Open triumphs, were achieved whilst sporting the American multinational’s name. Federer will be hoping that his switch to Uniqlo can bring him plenty more success, and he is 10/3 in the latest tennis odds to wrap up his ninth Wimbledon success this summer.
Bjorn Borg – Fila
The five-time Wimbledon champion almost single-handedly helped launch the Fila range, and instantly became the poster boy for the Italian brand.
The eye-catching striped polo tops remain extremely popular several decades later, and they became synonymous with the Swedish star during his distinguished playing career. His apparel was stylish, slick and modern, and it helped set him apart from the majority of his contemporaries.
Working with designer Pier Luigi Rolando, the distinctive attire is still perhaps the most famous sporting collection to date, and Borg’s unprecedented success on the court allowed the brand to truly flourish. Tennis fans became accustomed to seeing the talented Swede dominate the game, and sales of Fila products increased exponentially as a result. His signature Borg BJ logo was one of the significant sporting designs of the 1970s, and he will forever be associated with the brand.
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Stan Smith – Adidas
Stan Smith was a tremendously successful tennis player, yet many younger members of society will purely associate the American with his ubiquitous brand of footwear.
The former Wimbledon and US Open champion only became an official ambassador for Adidas in 1973, with the pair joining forces to launch an all-leather tennis shoe. He continued to be heavily associated with the conglomerate following his retirement, signing a five-year deal with the company despite having recently brought his playing career to a close.
The trainer has taken on a number of manifestations over the years and has famously been worn by well-known figures such as Kanye West, Kristen Stewart and Sienna Miller.
He may have been inducted into the tennis hall of fame back in 1987 and spent time at the top of the rankings, but Stan Smith’s tennis career often plays second fiddle to his strong association with the iconic sports brand.
Tennis and fashion continue to work together and they regularly