k-swiss makes tommy haas a bamboo shirt



tommy-haas-dubai-spr08.jpg

It seems that K-Swiss and Limited Sports get to share the hunky walking billboard that is Tommy Haas.

The German company’s monogrammed hat and wristbands are hanging around (we thought they were lost forever!) while K-Swiss outfits Tommy with the Bamboo Side Print Crew. Yep, it’s a shirt that’s 66% bamboo. Apparently, the plant’s fibers have good moisture-wicking and antibacterial qualities.

Scoreline: Haas lost to David Ferrer 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the Dubai tournament.

Buy: K-Swiss Bamboo Shirt, $36.99.

(photos by Getty Images)

k-swiss signs tommy haas and a new ad agency



tommy-haas-k-swiss.jpg

From three-stripe to five-stripe: The pre-2008 moving and shaking continues with SoCal sports outfitter K-Swiss announcing a three-year partnership with German Tommy Haas beginning at the 2008 Australian Open.

Tommy will wear K-Swiss threads for his matches and make personal appearances on behalf of the brand. He’ll also assist in the design of future athletic collections, a task he looks forward to. “I am obviously excited about the performance tennis styles,” says Haas, “but [am] also eager to collaborate on off court opportunities as well.”

And K-Swiss, of course, is just as excited. Erik Vervloet, Director of Sports Marketing, adds, “Tommy will be an invaluable asset in showcasing our current product offerings and developing future styles. We look forward to working closely with him and are proud to have him representing K-Swiss in the upcoming Grand Slams.”

No longer Limited: This is a big jump for Tommy, who had been wallowing (at least stylistically) in his partnership with Limited Sports in recent years (he was with Nike before that); Limited had provided him with a lackluster collection only made interesting by the occasional monogrammed cap. As he told Tennis Week, he moves to the big leagues with K-Swiss and is excited to be involved with the company:

“K-Swiss is making a big jump within the last year promoting the brand with a lot of the athletes, like Anna Kournikova, appearing in magazines and television commercials. K-Swiss is known for their shoes, which are very good ones. [...] I got to look at the new K-Swiss stuff for next year, the new technology they’re using in their tennis shoes, which is all very exciting stuff so I’m very happy to be a part of it.”

And while it was he got on board too late to give feedback about the Spring 2008 line, Tommy will definitely give notes for future collections. He tells Tennis Week, “They’re interested in your ideas so if you have a favorite color or the kind of quality of material you like to wear, they try to incorporate that.”

Sleeveless scandal: This K-Swiss collection will include a sleeveless top (pictured above), a style which the German was instrumental in bringing to popular tennis consciousness. In a widely documented to-do at the 2002 U.S. Open, Tommy walked onto the court for his first round match in a sleeveless shirt. Court officials deemed the attire inappropriate per Grand Slam rules, so he was asked to change. (Mind you, this is the same year Serena played her matches in a catsuit. The outfit obtained the necessary approvals, so it was okay to wear on court.)

And at that point, for better or for worse, the sleeveless shirt began its appearance on the ATP Tour. (Read more on Tommy’s reaction to the situation.)

New ads, new agency: Also part of Tommy’s agreement will be to appear in a global K-Swiss ad campaign debuting in February. It’ll feature the company’s other sponsored athletes, and will make rounds on TV, in print, on the web, and outdoor venues. The company has tapped Toth Brand Imaging out of Cambridge, Mass., to handle the campaign.

Cross your fingers: Here’s hoping the switch works. K-Swiss suffered a third quarter earnings drop to $12.8 million on $107 million in revenue compared to earnings of $21 million on $133 million in revenue for the same quarter in 2006.

(photo via Tennis Week and Newscom; additional reporting via Adweek, Tennis Week)

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fashion focus: tommy haas + limited



James Blake‘s U.S. Open hopes has been dashed yet another year. (I’m beginning to think of him as our Tim Henman.) German Tommy Haas beat Blake 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (4). Yep, a fifth set tiebreak.

FYI: Tommy, in Limited Sports, wore a monogrammed cap. Blake, of course, was in Nike.

Two things:

1) Early in the match, the tempermental German ran down a drop shot (one of many effective ones) from Blake and almost ran into the players’ chairs while doing so. He proceeded to gripe to the chair ump about how close the chairs were to the court. He’s getting beat up by Blake and all he can think about is interior decorating. Hilarious.

2) At the end of the match, both players had to wait as Blake challenged Haas’ service ace. I don’t like how these challenges interrupt (or subdue) post-match celebrations. Having the ump reverse a match point is one thing, but using up your challenges “just because you can” is another story.

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a top 10 player to be stripped of his clothes?




Will adidas make a monkey out of Gonzalez?

The blind item mill churneth and its latest product is this: a current top-10 player will be dumped by his clothing company “when his contract runs out at the end of the year”.

So who will be mired in a fashion mess in a few months? Here’s the current list of sponsors, players (and their ranking):

Nike: Roger Federer (1), Rafa Nadal (2), Blake (6), Berdych (9)
adidas: Nole (3), Fernando Gonzalez (7)
Airness: Davydenko (4)
Lacoste: Roddick (5)
Sergio Tacchini: Tommy Robredo (8)
Limited: Tommy Haas (10)

It’s not Rafa, Roger, or Blake — who all have crazy-high Q ratings right now. Lacoste is still getting mileage out of Roddick. And adidas would be stupid to drop Nole. Even though he strips after every title win, the clothes stay on during matches.

So my picks are the inconsistent Fernando Gonzalez (finals of Aussie Open and Masters Series Rome but early exits everywhere else), Tomas Berdych, and Tommy Robredo. Robredo should really be with Fila anyway. Perhaps this’ll be his chance to do so?

(photo via AP)

davis cup: learn from the germans



Belgium and Germany went about their Davis Cup tie without much fashion oomph. The Rochus brothers, along with the rest of the Belgian team, chose to wear red (both on and off the court). The Germans chose a simple, utilitarian jacket, and Tommy Haas wore nothing special from his sponsor, Limited Sports.

rochus - davis cup tommy haas - davis cup germany - davis cup

But, alas, there’s a diamond in the rough. Look at this wristband worn by German Alexander Waske:

germany - belgium - davis cup 2007

While not visible to people watching on TV — but Davis Cup ties aren’t televised anyway, so who cares? — the wristbands can easily be seen in photos. They’re customizable to each country’s flag, low cost, and can be worn off the court. What a great investment for raising the Davis Cup’s profile. All countries should make this a standard issue by the next round.

waske’s wristband

Winner: Alas, a wristband cannot carry the weight of a country. The edge goes to the Belgians.

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