Bjorn Borg, one of the best tennis players on the planet. He ruled the tennis world with his incredible topspin and calm conduct. Borg likes to play with the Donnay Borg Pro which made it the most prevalent tennis racquet of his era. It was a very elegant, black wooden Racquet with orange designs on its head. It was so widespread that it made it almost challenging to find anything else comparable.
Interestingly enough, other brands kept their reasonable edge. Slazenger, for example, was well-known for their tennis balls and racquets made for serve and volley game. There were other brands like Kneissl, Ellesse, Le Coq Sportif and Tretorn that were carried around the pro journey during the 70’s and 80’s. So why aren’t these makes as popular today?
What seems is that technology redirected the evolution of tennis and this change might have been the intention why these brands could not continue.
Wilson, Head, and Prince were the brands coming up with new the know-how that developed power and control. Wood disappeared so fiberglass and graphite took over. Tennis players got away from hitting topspin and started coming up to the net more. Service got a lot more vital for the game and tennis was more of an entertaining than anything else; it became exciting. People loved to compete with John McEnroe’s serve and the forcefulness of Jimmy Connors. It was a new era.
Ivan Lendl come into the pro tour indicating excellent fitness, hitting huge forehands and made an impact on many followers around the world. Adidas, the new favorite brand, turn out to be even more popular than it used to be. Nike was progressively increasing its reputation in the tennis world.
But on the other hand, the brands that were well-liked in the past started to decline at a fast pace.
Boris “Boom Boom” Becker, Stefan Edberg, Michael Stitch, Pat Cash among others established a new tennis by linking speed, power, and skills never seen before. Tennis racquets changed so much at that age, from material to flexibility and weight. The Wilson Pro Staff was therefore born and made a vast impact on the game. Most people were using it because it was the perfect tool to use for a fast pace game.
Jumping ahead to the Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Jim Courier period of the 1990’s, was an all-American period. Pete stayed with Sergio Tacchini for a while but finally got sponsored by Nike. By the mid 90’s most of the old brands were fading out, at least in the US, in Europe players keep on loyal to their brands but they became less and less popular over time.
Nowadays you can notice that some popular makes in tennis are Lacoste and Sergio Tacchini. They were on the edge of fading out until the companies made efforts to recapture their legacies and images. They announced a better quality, younger and more vibrant brand. They were able to have their loyal customers and even gain new ones.
Malik Benyebka is a tennis pro with 25 years competitive experience around the world, has a Masters in marketing, is fanatical about the game and gives all his efforts into coaching, writing, sharing experiences, giving tips and views concerning tennis, products and fitness.