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8 Great Marketing Lessons from 8 Great Tennis Players

Tennis is a worldwide sport popular among male and female players and audiences. With their success as athletes and commercial triumphs in creating their brand, let’s discuss how professional tennis players have created their self-brand and marketed themselves.

Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, the Williams Sisters, Sharapova and Jabeur are all unforgettable tennis players who will still be talked about after they retire from tennis. Of course, their success in tennis is the main criteria for their popularity; however, their excellent brand-marketing strategies also add to their self-brand.

Tennis and its Position in Marketing

Tennis has been seen as a high society sport for many years. It is considered a rich-person sport because the courts, rackets and clubs are expensive. Private tennis clubs are exclusive places that include really nice restaurants, swimming pools, saunas and bars. These tennis clubs require membership at a high price, sometimes not even open for public membership. Similar to golf clubs, tennis clubs are relatively expensive but offer the affluent society a place to socialise.

Another point is that tennis is an expensive sport to play. Firstly, tennis courts are costly to maintain, especially grass courts. Many tennis tournaments in the United Kingdom, Wimbledon and Eastbourne, are played on grass courts. Since the grass is natural, it has to be watered regularly, and people are not allowed to play every day because it can ruin the grass. Furthermore, the tennis rackets and balls are also quite expensive since they are made from specific materials and not offered by many sports brands. Tennis coaches are also not common; therefore, they are also costly to hire and get private lessons.

Especially before the 2000s, tennis was seen as an affluent sport, and many tennis players came from well-off backgrounds. Following the 2000s, tennis became more reachable, and many people from various backgrounds could become tennis players. Currently, tennis is much more common, with many tennis courts available free of charge. However, tennis is still seen as a luxury sport because of its history; most luxury brands sponsor tennis events, which are also expensive to watch.

Sponsors of Famous Tennis Players from the ATP and WTA Tours

Roger FedererUniqloOnWilsonRolexMoët & Chandon
Novak DjokovicLacosteAsicsHeadSeikoJacob’s Creek
Rafael NadalNikeNikeBabolatRichard MilleSantander Bank
Andy MurrayCastroAdidasHeadRadoJaguar
Maria SharapovaNikeNikeHeadTAG HeuerTiffany and Co
Serena WilliamsNikeNikeWilsonAudemars PiguetAston Martin
Venus WilliamsEleVenK-SwissWilsonHublotRalph Lauren
Ons JabeurLottoLottoWilsonQatar Airways

8 Marketing Lessons from 8 Tennis Players

ATP Players

1. Roger Federer: Position yourself as luxury.

Roger Federer is one of the best and, without an argument, the most famous tennis player of all time. Federer has achieved many successes and is one of the oldest players on the ATP tour. The Swiss tennis player has won 20 Grand Slam tournaments. He has been sponsored by many luxury brands, including champagne, cars, and watches.

Roger Federer is known as a polite, well-educated tennis player. He is from Switzerland and enjoys skiing and golf. He was selected as the world’s most respected, admired and trusted personality; he also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel. He was celebrated on the Swiss coin and selected as the most stylish man by GQ magazine. 

Federer has positioned his brand image as a luxury brand. Many luxury brands endorsed him. These examples include Barilla, Credit Suisse Group (ADS), JURA, Lindt & Sprungli, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz, NetJets, On, RIMOWA, Rolex, Sunrise Communications AG, Switzerland Tourism, Uniqlo and Wilson Sporting Goods.

To conclude, Roger Federer has created a luxury brand name for himself, only accepting sponsorships from luxury brands and being involved in affluent events. Positioning your brand as luxury and less common can make your eCommerce brand seen as more valuable and of better quality.

2. Novak Djokovic: Stay ahead in technology.

Novak Djokovic holds many records, such as being world number 1 for the most weeks. Djokovic is one of the greatest tennis players of all time with his all-court style of playing, including offence, defence, serves, volleys and court coverage. He was born in Serbia and did not come from a wealthy background, but his willingness to win and hardworking discipline has made him become a world champion.

Novak Djokovic took a break from his injuries after his fantastic run in the 2016 season and came back better and stronger for the 2018 season. Djokovic is one of the most innovative tennis players with outstanding psychology during matches. He returned from injury with a different serve style and racket holding technique. 

Though tennis is a physical sport, it is also necessary to study for the technology part. Djokovic successfully examines the racket, balls, surface and weather beforehand. He knows how to play in different conditions and is aware of the physics of the tennis racket positions. Djokovic is relatively older than the average tennis player as of 2022; however, he has implemented successful techniques in his tennis to continue to be on the top.

For example, the younger tennis players are faster runners, but he slides on the courts to reach out to the balls. Though this much detail is not necessary for lower-ranking players, he studies everything to become the best of the best at his level. Djokovic has had a changing tennis technique throughout the years and has always been up to date with the new technology. 

We recommend that eCommerce businesses examine their websites from front to end, working on every page and every sentence. Your website’s pace, pictures, user experience and personalisation solutions are very important to becoming the best of the best, like Novak Djokovic.

3. Rafael Nadal: Be different. 

Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest tennis players in tennis history. He currently holds the most Grand Slam titles, 23 and has won the Roland Garros 14 times. He was the former world number 1 and holds the Olympic Gold medal in singles and doubles draws. Nadal is Spanish and has established a well-known name for himself. He is known as the King of Clay for his success in the French Open.

Tennis is a classic game, using the racket to hit the balls inside the lines. There are a few different ways to play it or do something on the courts. However, it can be different in style and other stuff as rituals. Rafael Nadal is a leftie, differentiating him from many of the players on the ATP tour.

Additionally, Rafael Nadal is known for his rituals on the court. Nadal has a set of rituals he goes through before each important match or competition. He consistently and relentlessly does this. A cold shower precedes each match for him. At the French Open, he always uses the same locker. He never crosses the court’s white lines. Additionally, he is renowned for biting all of his awards. These actions make him different and recognisable in the court.

As a result, being different is essential to be remembered. It is not necessary to be totally different and always come up with unique ideas. Minor differences also count and will help you to be recognisable.

4. Andy Murray: Reinvent yourself.

Andy Murray is one of the members of the big four of tennis, a two-time Wimbledon champion and world former number 1. Murray won Wimbledon in 2013 in his home country after 77 years of waiting. 

Andy Murray was the world number 1 in 2016. Unfortunately, the following year, he had several injuries leading him to stop playing for a while and have a hip operation. This operation might be one of the most extensive tennis operations, and many players are known to quit after such injuries. However, this was not the case with Andy Murray.

Yes, he did not go back to his previous form and did not win Grand Slams as he used to win. However, he has reinvented himself in many different ways. Firstly, he partnered with Castro and developed a new clothing line in 2019. Furthermore, he did not stop competing and is still attending Grand Slam tournaments and is working hard to return to his prime time. Even though he had a considerable hip injury, he continued to be talked about for his tennis skills and work outside of tennis.

In conclusion, it is normal to have ups and downs within your business. But the important thing is to work back and reinvent yourself. Work on other projects like a clothing line if you have injuries and cannot play tennis. If one way is not working, try another way. There are always solutions to all problems. Coming up with totally different and unheard campaigns after a failed one is necessary. Taking calculated risks is essential to growth for eCommerce businesses.

WTA Players

5. Maria Sharapova: Be involved in other industries or events.

Maria Sharapova, without an argument, has made women’s tennis more popular. Sharapova is a former world number 1, holds 5 Grand Slam titles and has achieved a Golden Slam, having won all the Grand Slam tournaments. Sharapova was born in Russia and then moved to the United States at the age of 7. Maria Sharapova has made a name for herself outside of tennis and has been endorsed by many brands.

Maria Sharapova is an excellent tennis player; in addition to that, she is also an exceptional businessperson. Sharapova launched her Sugarpova candy brand in 2012. This is a high-end candy brand with items such as chocolates, gummies, gumballs, and truffles. Additionally, Nike sponsored Sharapova for many years and has a clothing line where she was involved with designing tennis clothes.

Sharapova is also involved in many charity work, including being a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme in 2007. She is also the founder of the Maria Sharapova Foundation, where she helps children worldwide.

As a result, becoming successful in a specific industry is essential; however, brands can have partnerships with different industries and also be involved in philanthropic activities.

6. Serena Williams: Tell a story.

Serena Williams is the best tennis player in the world. She holds 23 Grand Slam titles—more than Federer, Djokovic and Nadal. She has won the highest prize money and has 7 Wimbledon titles. Serena was born in the United States and came from a sports family. Both her sister Venus Williams and herself were coached by their father from a young age.

Serena Williams’s road to success in tennis is an exciting story for many people. The Williams sisters are the first African American tennis players to be ranked world number 1 and win this many slams. In 2021, the movie “King Richard” came out about Serena and Venus’s road to becoming tennis players, including their father, Richard Williams.

Serena Williams had many criticisms regarding her looks, but she never listened to them and worked hard to become even better. Serena Williams is a great legend and is an inspiration to many people; she has proved that gender, race, or anything should be a bracket to success. Serena tells a wonderful, inspiring story to the audience.

7. Venus Williams: Don’t give up.

Venus Williams and Serena Williams are the top history makers of tennis. Venus is the first African American to become world number 1. She holds 7 Grand Slam titles to her name and, as of 2022, being 42 years old, still continues to play on the WTA tour. She comes from a sports family with Serena Williams as her younger sister and Richard Williams as her tennis coach.

Venus Williams had a great run in the early 2000s, winning back-to-back Wimbledon titles. Following the 2010s, she has also achieved great success and remained in the top rankings. However, in 2018, she struggled with her form, had several injuries, and lost first-round matches.

She exited the top 50 rankings in 2019 and the top 100 in 2021. However, this did not stop Venus Williams from playing tennis. She had a break from 2021 to 2022 and returned to the doubles draw in Wimbledon 2022.

Age might be a critical factor in tennis players’ success but Venus is still continuing to play at 42 years of age. She has shown the world that she does not give up; she works hard and tries to achieve her previous success.

8. Ons Jabeur: Be relatable.

Ons Jabeur is currently the world number 2 on the WTA tour, having achieved many successes, including being the most successful tennis player amongst Arabs and Africa. She is Tunisian and has won 3 WTA titles, not having won a Grand Slam yet, but she sure will.

Jabeur’s marketing strategy and personal background are relatively different from the other tennis players on this list. Ons Jabeur comes from Tunisia, where tennis is not that popular or encouraged, especially for women. Jabeur has struggled a lot to find sponsors and was rejected by many. She did not grow up watching as much tennis as the average player. Jabeur comes from a humble background to play the affluent sport of tennis. This is very relatable for many people in the world. She shows that regardless of her background, she can be successful and establish a name for herself.

Wrapping Up

It does not matter whether you are a brand or a person; marketing is essential for creating and controlling people’s perceptions of you. Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Serena, Venus, Sharapova and Jabeur are all excellent tennis players with high discipline and talent. However, their successful marketing strategies in building their brand name have made them liked and well-known by the public.

With Segmentify, your eCommerce brand can also become more well-known by people and have a positive customer experience whilst buying the products. If you are interested in our solutions, you can book a free trial to try them out and see the magic of marketing.

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