No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic recently inked an extensive deal with Adidas footwear.
Although Djokovic’s support of the German brand goes back to 2003—the year he made his professional debut—in 2009 the Serbian native parted ways with Adidas apparel and decided that a 10-year apparel deal with Sergio Tacchini better suited him.
His Adidas footwear sponsorship was still intact.
In May 2012 Novak ended his professional relationship with Sergio Tacchini, siting lack of apparel distribution in the U.S. as the cause.
“We preordered all this apparel and it was always either shorted or we didn’t get it at all,” said Brian Hirshfeld, owner of Holabird Sports, a tennis specialty retailer in Baltimore. “It was an insult to our industry, to the brand and to him [Novak].”
Novak’s apparel is currently endorsed by the Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo, not Adidas.
The details of the contract between Adidas and Djokovic have yet to be released, but Adidas isn’t willing to lose Djokovic to another player this time around; in 2009 Adidas reportedly invested more money in the No. 2 ranked player Andy Murray, which contributed to the loss of the apparels deal with Novak.
As the No.1 player in the world for the second consecutive year, and a favorite to win the French Open, Adidas knows Novak is a hot commodity.
“It has been more than impressive to see Novak evolve into the world number one tennis player today. Adidas is proud to partner with Novak and will do all we can to help him win more titles in the future by ensuring his footwear is industry-leading,” added Vincent Montalescot, vice president of global sports marketing at Adidas.
The 26-year-old debut the Barricade 7—the latest edition in the series—at the French Open and has won six Grand Slam titles in the Barricade collection.
“The Adidas Barricade is my favorite shoe,” said Djokovic. “I have been wearing it for many years and have worn all the different generations. I have full confidence in the shoe and am very comfortable on the court when I wear it, which is essential for a tennis player. I have very specific dynamic movements, with a lot of splits and slides, so I need to have the right stability in the shoe, but also have an optimal weight and great performance. The Barricade offers me everything – Adidas has provided me with the best shoe possible to help me win Roland Garros for the first time.”
Djokovic faces Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the third round at the French Open on Sunday.