Tale of the Tape Takes Center Court


(May 23, 2014) Starting this Sunday, May 25 in Paris the “Tale of the Tape” returns to center court

Djokovic photo by Cynthia Lum

in professional tennis in the first of three Grand Slam tournaments this summer.

While the “Tale of the Tape” is a term typically associated with boxing, for the millions of fans who will be viewing the top tennis pros over the next three months in Paris, London and New York, it refers to the colorful kinesiology tape more and more tennis players are wearing which has become nearly as synonymous with the game as the racquet they play with.


Since the last two summer games in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, kinesiology tape, and more specifically, KT Tape, has become prominent on the courts of professional tennis tournaments around the world.

Less than a decade ago when world pro beach volleyball champion Kerri Walsh captivated the attention of a global television audience by wearing blue KT Tape on her way to winning a gold medal in Beijing in 2008, she unknowingly sparked an interest in kinesiology tape. Four years later, a major movement was ignited when hundreds of athletes in every sport were “going for the gold” wearing KT Tape in London in 2012 in the pool, on the track, in the field, at the velodrome and on the tennis court.

“Because of the amount of stress and strain professional tennis players put on their ligaments today with the velocity they place on their serves and the way they hit the ball compared to a decade or two ago, kinesiology tape and more specifically, KT Tape, has become increasingly popular,” said Clay Sniteman, Director of Medical Services for the ATP World Tour. “Professional tennis players, like amateurs, want their biomechanics corrected without restricting their motion on the court and are turning to KT Tape because they actually can feel the difference.”

The world’s only 100% synthetic kinesiology tape, KT Tape is re-engineered with stronger performance properties and is applied along muscles, ligaments and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps individuals remain active while preventing or recovering from injuries. Unlike traditional sports tape which restricts movement and performance, KT Tape features longitudinal elasticity and creates neuromuscular feedback that relaxes or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons.

KT Tape not only provides a physiological and psychological athletic performance benefit but it is designed to withstand sweat, strain and can even be worn in water while providing 24 hour relief per application.

Perhaps as popular as the sports performance benefit KT Tape provides are the colors in which it is available. Athletes take pride in the KT Tape color they wear while competing, often in their nation’s colors. This summer, in addition to the tennis courts, KT Tape will be prominent on the futbol pitch as the U.S. National Men’s Soccer Team sports KT Tape in Brazil along with many of the other competing nations.



The Ultimate Match Campaign Launched with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic

(May 22, 2014) In a brand new social media driven campaign by HEAD, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic find themselves playing the “Ultimate match” at a little girl’s birthday party. The video showcases the players racquets “HEAD Graphene Racquet Series.”


The video published on May 22, 2014 on HEAD’s YouTube channel will be followed up by 30 second TV spot will air on Eurosport during the second week of the French Open. The movie trailer like spot will direct viewers to the campaign website www.head.com/G which hosts additional information about the story, HEAD products and the innovative technology Graphene. Fans around the world will have the opportunity to participate in an online sweepstake and show their creativity to win special prizes.


Created by the Berlin-based agency Aimaq von Lobenstein, the films have been produced by Czar Berlin, directed by Johannes Schroeder and produced by Birke Birkner.




Fila debuts Sony Open Original Tennis with Sam Querrey & Grammy nominated producer & DJ Clinton Sparks


(March 22, 2014) Fila debuted the Sony Open Original Tennis shoe with Sam Querrey and Grammy nominated DJ and Producer Clinton Sparks this past weekend in Miami.

Clinton Sparks is a Grammy nominated producer, songwriter, radio & television personality and recording artist. He has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Rick Ross, Akon, T-Pain, Eminem, and Diddy.

Clinton spun the latest mixes on the Sony Open Entertainment stage in honor of the launch of the Sony Open Original Tennis. Sam Querrey stopped by to be the guest DJ with Clinton.


Fila is the official supplier of the Sony Open in Miami, Florida, FILA heads back to its roots with a new edition of the Original Tennis. The official colors of the Sony Open are on display in a color combination of white, orange, and royal blue. On the back counter, directly below the color lining, the Sony Open Tennis logo is subliminally featured. In addition the F-Box dons the same colorway of the silhouette. The sock liner of the shoe is reminiscent of the color and texture of a tennis ball.


During this year’s Sony Open, Officials and lines persons will wear the shoes, along with matching jackets designed by the FILA team (Apparel available on site only).  The pairs, extremely limited in production, currently available on FILA.com, as well as onsite locations at the 2014 Sony Open Tennis.


Prince Global Sports Brings Corporate Headquarters to Atlanta


(February 27, 2014) Prince Global Sports, a manufacturer and distributor of performance racquet sports equipment, footwear and apparel, is relocating its corporate headquarters to Atlanta. Prince is finalizing a lease agreement to move into commercial property in the Buckhead area.
Prince is one of the world’s oldest tennis and squash brands and will relocate from corporate offices in New Jersey. Chief Executive Officer Mike Ballardie said Prince has been an iconic brand in the tennis industry more than 40 years and feels Atlanta is a natural location for Prince Tennis’ headquarters.
“As we continue our growth as a global company, we see Atlanta and its vast resources as a perfect fit for our management, sales and marketing teams,” Ballardie said. “Atlanta has a thriving tennis community with more men, women and children playing tennis than any other U.S. city, making it a great home base for Prince. As a global brand we are involved at all levels of the sport from juniors to supporting key professionals in tennis and squash tournaments all over the world. Leveraging our assets with Atlanta’s location, talented workforce and the travel options offered by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be a tremendous benefit to the company.”
“I am thrilled that Prince Global Sports has chosen Atlanta for their corporate headquarters and pleased to welcome them to Buckhead,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “Atlanta is a natural home for Prince given the city’s love of tennis and our position as a leading distribution and logistics hub.”
Dan Corso, senior vice president of sports at the Metro Atlanta Chamber and executive director of the Atlanta Sports Council, sees tremendous potential in Prince’s move to the region.
“We are pleased to welcome Prince Global Sports, one of the best-known brands in tennis, to Atlanta,” Corso said. “Sports is a large economic driver for our region, both through company operations and hosting ongoing events like the BB&T Atlanta Open, and it serves as a tremendous quality of life attribute for our five million-plus residents and visitors.”
Atlanta boasts the largest city tennis league in the world with more than 80,000 members of the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA), which was established in 1934. The sport’s profile in Atlanta gained tremendous global exposure during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Ballardie said the company is relocating its product research, development and player servicing activities to the IMG Academy in Florida, alongside the recently opened Prince Innovation Center.
Prince, which is owned by Waitt Company of Omaha, Neb., has several of the world’s top players promoting the Prince brand. In tennis they include David Ferrer, John Isner, doubles team Bob & Mike Bryan, Daniela Hantuchova and reigning Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli. In the sport of squash Prince boasts both the world number one players – Ramy Ashour and Nicol David. Ballardie anticipates several of their top tennis players will be in town for the BB&T Atlanta Open this July, which draws tremendous crowds to the Atlantic Station. He noted the company looks to host special events in conjunction with this summer’s tournament.

Sam Querrey Signs Multi-Year Deal with Fila


Sam Querrey

(January 14, 2014) Fila  has signed an endorsement agreement with top ranked American tennis player Sam Querrey. By signing a multi-year agreement, Querrey joins a roster of ATP World Tour players that have worn the Fila brand on-court since the 1970s.


“We are thrilled that American tennis star Sam Querrey has joined the Fila family,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman of Fila. “As we enter the 103rd year of the Fila brand, our commitment to the sport that is such an important part of our history will be strengthened by our relationship with world-class athletes like Sam. As we look to the future of tennis in the United States, we are positive that Sam will inspire the next generation of players through his involvement in Fila’s new junior mentorship program.”


Querrey, 26, turned pro in 2006 and has been ranked in the Top 50 on the ATP World for five of the past six years.  In January 2011, he achieved a career-high world ranking of number 17.  He is the second-ranked American on the ATP World Tour and has won seven Singles titles, including 3 titles in Los Angeles. Sam is a member of the United States Davis Cup team and won the lone U.S. singles rubber during the 2013 World Group Quarterfinal vs Serbia. He represented the United States at the Beijing Games in 2008. Querrey’s serve is one of the fastest on the ATP World Tour and has been recorded up to 148mph.


“Fila has such a great history of sponsoring champions and I am excited to wear the same brand as the players I admired as a junior,” said Querrey. “I am extremely excited to give back to the tennis community as a mentor to young players at Fila-sponsored academies.”


Sam will debut Fila’s spring 2014 Center Court apparel collection at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Visit www.fila.com to see the full collection of Fila tennis apparel and footwear.


Fila has a long history in the world of tennis that continues with endorsements of ATP World Tour and WTA Tour athletes. Fila is a sponsor of the BNP Paribas Open, Sony Open and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Championships.  In addition to event partnerships, Fila is an official supplier to the Junior Tennis Champions Center, Van der Meer Tennis and John Newcombe Tennis Ranch.


The Fila brand was established over a century ago by the Fila brothers of Biella, Italy.


USPTA Renews Prince Partnership with Multi-Year Deal

USPTA John Embree & Charlie Osborn

(January 2, 2014) HOUSTON – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) announced today the signing of a multi-year agreement with Prince Global Sports to endorse Prince racquets, balls, strings, bags and accessories, renewing a previous partnership that helped make Prince a leader in the tennis industry.


When Prince and the USPTA were affiliated during the 1980s through the early 90s, both companies rose to the top of their respective sections in the tennis industry. As Prince repositions itself in the marketplace – including re-entering the tennis ball market – the affiliation with USPTA will help create consumer demand for their product.


“Working with skilled, motivated and performance focused tennis-teaching professionals is a critical factor in driving sales in this industry and Prince recognizes the significant value that an association with the USPTA brings to that equation,” said Prince Global Sports, CEO Mike Ballardie. “A key part of our 2014 brand strategy is a focus on ensuring that all players are ‘fitted’ for the optimum equipment for their game. This partnership with the USPTA is a valued piece of that puzzle.”


As the official racquet and ball supplier for the USPTA, Prince equipment and signage will be used at USPTA World Conferences, division conventions and events, and at all certification testing. The enhanced equipment package provided by Prince for USPTA Professionals will be contingent on the number of hours USPTA Professionals spend on the court teaching. In addition to providing racquets and accessories to USPTA-certified Professionals, Prince will also make contributions to the USPTA’s Retirement Gold+ plan to those USPTA members who qualify, such as club pro shop owners and/or those who have direct fiscal responsibility for their respective pro shop.


“Prince is the first major USPTA endorsee to contribute to the Retirement Gold+ plan because the company knows the influence and credibility that USPTA-certified Professionals have in the industry,” said USPTA CEO John Embree, who is familiar with the brand and its staff from serving as President of Prince Sports, The Americas from 2008-2010.   “Having worked closely with Mike Ballardie in the past, I know the commitment the company and its staff has to the tennis-teaching profession and the grassroots efforts to grow our sport.”


Prince revolutionized tennis by engineering the world’s first oversize racquet. Several of the top tennis players in the world play with Prince racquets, including top-ranked Americans on the ATP World Tour such as John Isner, the No. 1 Men’s Doubles Team of Mike and Bob Bryan (the Bryan Brothers) along with current No. 3 Singles Player David Ferrer and the 2013 Ladies Wimbledon Singles Champion, Marion Bartoli.


Babolat Launches a New String


(December 4, 2013) Babolat has launched a new synthetic string – Babolat Origin.

Babolat Origin is made out of a new material, Pure Combo, an organically-sourced polyamide, integrated in a monofilament construction to provide an elasticity and flexibility for a monofilament string.

The Babolat Origin string is available in 125, 130, and 135 gauges.
Babolat Origin will be available at retail stores starting in mid-January 2014 at a
suggested price of $21.95.


Fila Lauches Holiday Giving Program


FILA ONLINE, which operates the U.S. Ecommerce site for the 102 year old Sportstyle brand FILA®., announced an exclusive partnership this holiday season with Soles4Souls, Inc. a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting  poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.


#ShowUsUrSole began November 15, 2013 and will run through December 31, 2013.  Customers will have the opportunity at checkout to contribute to those in need when purchasing full price items online.   Each shopper that donates to the Soles4Souls charity will receive a discount in accordance with the amount donated.  100% of each shopper’s donation goes straight to the Soles4Souls charity.


“Everyone wants to do something to help others during the holidays, but get caught up in the business of the holiday season, and then, all of a sudden, it’s December 31st and we all missed our chance,” said Jon Epstein, President, FILA USA.  “This program makes it fun, fast and easy to shop FILA and support people who need it most.”


“Our #ShowUsUrSole during this holiday season is to collect as much money as possible for a great cause that is close to our business and our hearts,” said Jennifer O. Estabrook, Executive Vice-President, FILA USA.  “In addition to the discounts we will offer, we are excited to run a contest across our social platforms to promote awareness of the great work Soles4Souls does every day.  People will be asked to either send in a creative image of their favorite FILA® SOLES, or a picture of their SOULS, i.e. a photo of them doing volunteer work in their communities, with their schools or on their own volition.  The winner with the best submission will receive a $1000 gift card to Fila.com.”


Babolat Launches Pure Strike Racquet

Pure Strike

(October 22, 2013) Born out of research and feedback from players, the Babolat Pure Strike is an all-new racket model. Designed for “First Strikers” who have an attack-based game and take the ball early, this racket offers reactivity and precision, thanks to a hybrid frame construction (both square and elliptic) with specific technologies. The Babolat Pure Strike racket will be available at authorized retail outlets starting mid-January 2014.

As a brand specialized in tennis, Babolat observed that the majority of players today are baseline players. These players fall into two categories based on their position on the line at the moment they hit the ball: “Punchers,” who hit the ball at the top of the bounce while staying behind the line, and “First Strikers,” who have a forward game, playing the ball on the rise.

Babolat Pure Strike: a racquet for “First Strikers”

“First Strikers” primarily play inside the baseline. They play forward, taking the ball early when it’s on the rise, and use the speed of their opponent’s ball to generate power. They need a racket that is both reactive and precise, because they use every corner of the court to overwhelm their opponent and get the advantage. The Babolat Pure Strike is particularly well suited for them.

“Thanks to a new hybrid frame construction (square and elliptic), the Babolat Pure Strike racket offers more reactivity at ball impact than any other racket in this segment. ‘First Strikers’ will find the perfect balance between reactivity and precision,” said Gael Moureaux, Babolat rackets product manager.

To complement the worldwide best-selling racket models—Babolat Pure Drive, Babolat Aeropro Drive and Babolat Pure Storm—Babolat now offers a new racket with a sleek design: carbon grey paired with neon red.

Babolat Pure Strike 18 x 20
Perfect for players who use the entire court to challenge their opponents, this racket has the ultimate precision thanks to its 18 x 20 stringing pattern.
Headsize: 630 cm² / 98 sq. in.
Weight: 305 g / 10.8 oz.
Suggested price: $189.00 (unstrung)

Babolat Pure Strike 16 x 19
Power and spin for players who use the speed of their opponent’s ball, thanks to a 16 x 19 stringing pattern.
Available starting May 2014.
Headsize: 630 cm² / 98 sq. in.
Weight: 305 g / 10.8 oz.
Suggested price: $189.00 (unstrung)

Babolat Pure Strike Tour
This heavier model is for competitive players who play forward, hitting the ball immediately after the bounce.
18 x 20 stringing pattern.
Headsize: 630 cm² / 98 sq. in.
Weight: 320 g / 11.3 oz.
Suggested price: $195.00 (unstrung)

Babolat Pure Strike 100
For players looking for a lighter racket for better maneuverability and a larger headsize for more forgiveness.
16×19 stringing pattern.
Headsize: 645 cm² / 100 sq. in
Weight: 290 g / 10.2 oz.
Suggested price: $185.00 (unstrung)

The Babolat Pure Strike will be available mid-January 2014.


Prince Introduces Fall 2013 Racquet Collections

Prince Fall collection

October 22, 2013, BORDENTOWN, NEW JERSEY Prince , a manufacturer and distributor of performance racquet sports equipment, footwear and apparel, officially announced the release of their Fall 2013 Racquet Collections including a Classics Series and new performance models featuring their latest technological innovation Extreme String Pattern (ESP) Technology.


“This is an extremely important launch for Prince as it marks the beginning of a new era for the brand and especially for the Prince consumer product strategy,” said Mike Ballardie, CEO of Prince Global Sports.  “Our 2013 – 2014 racquet line will meet the needs of every player at every level. No longer will we be offering just one technology for all customers. We are listening to what the consumer wants, and this is evident not only in the Fall release but will also be followed through in the new product offerings planned for January 2014 and future seasons.”


With the Classics Series racquets, Prince is bringing back some of the most iconic, well-loved and successful racquets in tennis history – the Classic Graphite and the Classic Response. Played by legendary players such as Andre Agassi, Patrick Rafter, Michael Chang and Monica Seles, these best-selling models are designed for players looking for enhanced spin and control.  The Classic Series line will include the Classic Graphite 100, Classic Graphite 100 Longbody, Classic Graphite 107 and the Classic Response 97.


Prince will also introduce racquet models featuring a new Extreme String Pattern (ESP) Technology delivering an aggressive string pattern that is designed to provide up to 30% more spin.  The benefits of ESP will be enhanced in these racquets with the inclusion of a built-in Double Bridge vibration dampener that reduces racquet shock and string vibration, and EXO3 Technology that provides edge-to-edge performance and a 54% larger sweet spot.


Racquets with ESP Technology will be available in the Premier Series, designed for the ultimate in power and comfort (Premier 105 ESP and Premier 115L ESP); the Warrior Series, all-around racquets with the perfect blend of power and spin (Warrior 100L ESP and Warrior 100 ESP); and the Tour Series, ideal for players looking for more spin and control (Tour 100T ESP and Tour 98 ESP).


“Tennis is a game that is constantly changing both on and off the court. Players are stronger and more athletic than ever before and advances in product technology are critical to ensure that our products are keeping up with this player evolution,” said Tyler Herring, VP of Product Design and Development for Prince Global Sports. “With the new ESP technology, we have made a good technology great by incorporating Double Bridge and EXO3 in the frame. Players are able to hit harder, heavier and more consistent shots. And on top of that, pairing these racquets with our new strings will allow them to generate an insane amount of spin.”


Along with the ESP racquets, Prince will introduce a new string line as their racquets are now designed to take advantage of the performance benefits of using a polyester string. Tour XC (Xtra Control), is a highly durable polyester string with low friction designed to maximize string movement and snapback. For even more spin, Tour XS (Xtra Spin) has a triangular shape to maximize spin with added bite and snapback.


In addition to the racquets and strings, Prince will release two new bag collections – an updated Tour Team Collection in two new colors and a retro inspired Classics Collection that will compliment the Classics Series racquets. The Tour Team Collection will be available in iconic Prince green or red, in a 12, 9 or 6 pack, as well as a backpack, while the Classics Collection bag silhouettes will include a racquet bag, circle duffle, and messenger bag.