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Buckeye10s
05-23-2007, 01:12 PM
Just got an email from Prince regarding James Blake's racquet...


From Prince:
18 months ago we welcomed James Blake to the Prince family. Our mutual plan, then, was for James to endorse the Prince brand and play the company's award winning 03 technology racquets. During the 18 months, James has been an integral part of our Team, working with R&D to develop new racquets for him, and for us to take to market. In fact,James' feedback and input has been the inspiration for several new Prince frames, all of which are now used and endorsed on tour, notably the 03 Hybrid Tour as well as several new Speedport racquets that will be on the market in July.

Despite those contributions, James has concluded that, at this stage of his career, he is not prepared to switch to our technology and together, we have made the decision to move in a different direction.

As James says, "During the extensive testing we did, I could feel the benefits of 03 technology, but I was playing the best tennis of my career and I guess I just wasn't open to switching. I don't know if superstition or habit came into it, but it felt like the right decision for me. Being part of the Prince family was a great experience, and we are parting in the friendliest and most respectful way."

James has been absolutely great to work with, and Prince is privileged to have been associated with him and his Team. He has developed as a player and spokesperson for the game and we wish him every success going forward. We also congratulate, in advance, the lucky company that's going to sign him as an endorser.

Best Regards,

George Napier

CEO, Prince Sports, Inc.

Heavy Metal Tennis Star
05-23-2007, 01:17 PM
james should go back to dunlop or sign with wilson, atleast he wont have to use a blacked out fram anymore, hehe.

Voltron
05-23-2007, 01:19 PM
No, he should go to Yonex. ;) His mold looks a lot like a TF frame, so I wouldn't be surprised if he went there.

TalkingTennis91
05-23-2007, 01:20 PM
Why wouldn't he have to used a blacked-out frame if he were to sign with Wilson? To my knowledge, he is not using a Wilson frame :)

BreakPoint
05-23-2007, 01:25 PM
I think Tecnifibre is the logical choice for Blake. But, of couse, it comes down to money and how mcuh TF is willing to pay him.

little_e
05-23-2007, 01:26 PM
Back to Dunlop at the French Open."In an ironic twist, CNBC has learned that Blake will now go back to Dunlop, which he signed with out of college in 1999, but the company exercised an option to terminate him when he fell out of the top 100 in 2005. That has to make things slightly uncomfortable for the No. 8-ranked Blake, who will have the Dunlop stencil on his racket at the French Open this upcoming week. It will be the first time since we've seen that in a top-tier tournament since March 2005 when Blake played in the NASDAQ-100 ranked No. 192 in the world. He is expected to be playing with a specific Dunlop brand by the summer." from an articla today on CNBC

Heavy Metal Tennis Star
05-23-2007, 01:30 PM
Why wouldn't he have to used a blacked-out frame if he were to sign with Wilson? To my knowledge, he is not using a Wilson frame :)

yeah but i think wilson can pay dunlop money to zip it, hehehe.

Dangus
05-23-2007, 01:55 PM
http://www.cnbc.com/id/18828755

After an endorsement relationship that lasted 18 months, Prince and American tennis star James Blake are parting ways in what will be a rare case of an athlete leaving a brand voluntarily in the midst of a deal.

Prince was efforting to get Blake into its O3 Technology, which is the best selling racket in the sport and has held the top spot at specialty stores for the last 15 months. But like many tennis stars who resist the latest technology, Blake just couldn't get used to it.

iplaybetter
05-23-2007, 02:54 PM
I think Tecnifibre is the logical choice for Blake. But, of couse, it comes down to money and how mcuh TF is willing to pay him.


I think that not only that would be a good choice, but a massive deal for tecnifibre

onkystomper
05-23-2007, 03:05 PM
Why would anyone but Dunlop sign him??? he is clearly unwilling to change frames and who can blame him

Ripper
05-23-2007, 03:16 PM
Apparently, he was embarassed to continue taking Prince's money just for using their bag :)

TennisWooh
05-23-2007, 03:23 PM
Why would anyone but Dunlop sign him??? he is clearly unwilling to change frames and who can blame him

Wasn't it those holes that made it impossible for him to stick with Prince since you can't fake those with paint. I think he could really just go to anyone he wants now, since he can just keep his current racket and put some company's paint on it. I personally wouldn't go to Dunlop since they screwed him over when he was not in the top of his game.

Buckeye10s
05-23-2007, 03:37 PM
I would love to see him using a K Factor. Or at least a K Paint Job!

jasoncho92
05-23-2007, 04:01 PM
I would love to see him using a K Factor. Or at least a K Paint Job!
Sorry to say something completely off-topic but please read your email T_T

BigBUBBA
05-23-2007, 04:49 PM
Wow.....rather...abrupt

Kirko
05-23-2007, 05:58 PM
for sure when TW dropped the "Blake Racket" the hand writing was on the wall. how feeble minded is prince; they use to really make wonderful frames.

jeffreyfranz
05-23-2007, 06:11 PM
james should go back to dunlop or sign with wilson, atleast he wont have to use a blacked out fram anymore, hehe. So why couldn't he have just used a conventional type Prince frame, like a Diablo or POG or something they could have developed? :confused:

jeffreyfranz
05-23-2007, 06:12 PM
for sure when TW dropped the "Blake Racket" the hand writing was on the wall. how feeble minded is prince; they use to really make wonderful frames. What was the "Blake racquet?"

foetz
05-23-2007, 06:17 PM
no doubt. james should be endorsed by dunlop and nothing else :D
anyhow the black frame is quite cool ...

Kirko
05-23-2007, 06:26 PM
What was the "Blake racquet?"

it was to be released this spring and a 18X20 like Blake uses coming "shortly". it was just removed and thats when I knew.

bertrevert
05-23-2007, 06:32 PM
I think it's a win for Dunlop because he is one exciting and charsimatic player alright...

I think this could be quite damaging to the Prince brand and specifically to their speed port technologies, ie. why don't the (male) pros use it? Davydenko just doesn't turn heads sorry. Nevertheless they have Sharapova...

But a Blake pj or model in the Dunlop line has got me way too overexcited. Gotta be a muscleweave-type beast with heft and oomph. I know it won't be the racquet he uses but certainly one he endorses would be reasonable. I'd be first in the queue...

Now if only Dunlop could fix their website.........

RedWeb
05-23-2007, 06:49 PM
IMHO, Blake leaving Prince won't even be a blip on the O3 Speedport radar screen. Its a very popular racket line and the vast majority of players don't pick a racket because so and so pro is using it.

bertrevert
05-23-2007, 06:56 PM
No blip? He did make the 2006 Masters Series Final in Shanghai. He is a bit of a TV drawcard. He is great for US tennis. In AUS he is the guy that got Hewitt all steamed and then (seemed to be?) making racial remarks. He appears in fashion mags besides sports ones... he's the real deal.

No-one may pick up the frame in the shop because of Blake (but how can you tell me either way whether this happens or not?) but his endorsement certainly is heavyweight out there in tennis-land...

Fee
05-23-2007, 07:21 PM
He should just sign with Wilson (but I guess if he did that, it would be admitting to what was going on all these years).

Fedal07
05-23-2007, 09:00 PM
So is it confirmed he is finished with Prince?

serve/and/volley
05-23-2007, 09:35 PM
How does one apply lead tape to these Prince O3 racquets? Blake's racquet has a few layers as does most pros. He obviously doesn't need help in the racquet speed department. Blake doesn't need these bogus technologies that clueless consumers gobble up blindly. He should just stick with his racquet and go back to Dunlop. If he wants more control, then go to Wilson. Those Prince racquets may be a bestseller and may look cool to some, but it's a scam.

Dangus
05-23-2007, 09:53 PM
So is it confirmed he is finished with Prince?

Yes. Blake is with Dunlop again.

baseliner87
05-24-2007, 01:49 AM
dunlop are overrated, and yes you can apply lead tape to the o3..

iplaybetter
05-24-2007, 11:30 AM
Yes. Blake is with Dunlop again.

when did that happen

bluetrain4
05-24-2007, 11:39 AM
Did James really ever switch rackets, wether blacked out or not? I had the feeling he was using a dense patterned Dunlop his whole career.

The press release/email is really nice and worded as any good press release should be, but it's just a lot of words to say that Prince let James go. He wouldn't agree to a racket, he's dropped much of the visibility from his US Open run and career high ranking, his results have dropped off, and he's not getting any younger.

That said, the feeling was probably mutual. If Prince couldn't make a racket that James liked, there would be no reason to stay, except for money, which was apparently not going to last forever unless he actually endorsed a frame. Whether or not Dunlop wants him back is immaterial if he likes his racket. He should keep playing with it, or a painted version of it under a different brand name.

Then again, even though paint jobs are the norm and have been for a long time, I still think at some level it's a cheap tactic. But, it sure works for the racket companies bottom line.

Fee
05-24-2007, 05:41 PM
He never switched, it was always a Wilson (and that will start an argument, but I know what I was told and I completely believe the person who told me).

Fee
05-24-2007, 05:42 PM
when did that happen

Read the very first post of this thread.

iplaybetter
05-24-2007, 05:44 PM
no i meant the resigning with dunlop

Fee
05-24-2007, 05:54 PM
Read post #8 of this thread (did you read this thread at all?). Normally I charge for 'spoon fed answers' but I'll let you slide this time.

iplaybetter
05-24-2007, 06:11 PM
sorry misread that one

insiderman
05-24-2007, 06:41 PM
Fee, for once you are not correct - he, (James) has used the same special (tour-only) frame mold that has (that I've seen and tested) 4-different 'lay-up's' - meaning constructions. The mold is the same for Haas, Johansson, Byrdich, etc but with different stiffnesses - a beauty of a design, and with the differences available...one fine 'stick' in any of the options.

JB has always used this Dunlop version...trust me, not only do I know, I've strung it too many times to count!

Fee
05-24-2007, 07:13 PM
You make a good point, but the person who told me also made a good argument, so I'll just go with what he said (which now that I think about it might actually be very close to what you said since there was something about Dunlop buying the mold. I should have paid better attention but I was a bit dazzled by all the technicalitites). :)

Fedal07
05-25-2007, 01:59 AM
What stick do you guys think James will use at the French?

BluDiamond
05-25-2007, 03:14 AM
any pics of blake using dunlop now??? is it the microgel pj?

thomas martinez
05-25-2007, 03:20 AM
No, it was never a Wilson. When he left them, as someone else had said, he did switch to a Dunlop frame. It was based off of the old Revelation Tour Pro 95 which was sold in the Asia Pacific region only. Scott Draper was the only one I know of who used this frame without a different cosmetic(ie 200G). It was the big brother to Flip's old green/black Revelation Tour 90. Now a day, the two closest frames you can buy to what James and Tommy Haas play with, is the Tyger Excel Drive 630 and TF's 320 and 335. And Thomas Johansson doesn't nor ever did use a version of this frame, his is a Revelation Tour Pro 95.

crosscourt
05-25-2007, 03:40 AM
Fee, for once you are not correct - he, (James) has used the same special (tour-only) frame mold that has (that I've seen and tested) 4-different 'lay-up's' - meaning constructions. The mold is the same for Haas, Johansson, Byrdich, etc but with different stiffnesses - a beauty of a design, and with the differences available...one fine 'stick' in any of the options.

JB has always used this Dunlop version...trust me, not only do I know, I've strung it too many times to count!

insiderman: do you agree with Thomas M about the current market stick that is closest to James' actual stick?

cc

Richie Rich
05-25-2007, 04:48 AM
Now a day, the two closest frames you can buy to what James and Tommy Haas play with, is the Tyger Excel Drive 630 and TF's 320 and 335. And Thomas Johansson doesn't nor ever did use a version of this frame, his is a Revelation Tour Pro 95.

earlier this year, i posted some pics and measurements of a TF 335 and one of Blake's persoanl racquets (300g PJ). the molds were identical. only difference was the construction, balance and layup of the frames - obviously JB's are specd way different than a stock TF 335.

iplaybetter
05-25-2007, 11:35 AM
So if he uses a 335 is essence why not sign with tecnifbre?

emcee143
05-25-2007, 11:50 AM
So if he uses a 335 is essence why not sign with tecnifbre?

Money. TF probably wouldn't offer as much compared to, say, Wilson, Head or Prince even. Maybe Dunlop would make the offer. James really should just go back to Dunlop instead of trying to use a new racquet. Why fix what is not broken? I think it would just hinder his game even more if he switched to a different company/frame.

saqdeez
05-25-2007, 01:32 PM
He needs to stop wearing those stupid cutoffs. He looks like an idiot wearing those.

iplaybetter
05-25-2007, 01:33 PM
Money. TF probably wouldn't offer as much compared to, say, Wilson, Head or Prince even. Maybe Dunlop would make the offer. James really should just go back to Dunlop instead of trying to use a new racquet. Why fix what is not broken? I think it would just hinder his game even more if he switched to a different company/frame.


true, but just imagine what he would do for TF

Forehand Forever
05-25-2007, 02:51 PM
Wait, James Blake is actually using a Tecnifibre racquet? How random is that.

Richie Rich
05-25-2007, 02:53 PM
Wait, James Blake is actually using a Tecnifibre racquet? How random is that.

NO. He is using the old dunlop he has always used. TF bought the mold and uses it to make the TF 335. Blake does not use a TF frame.

NoBadMojo
05-25-2007, 03:17 PM
James Blakes' frame is made my elves in a hollow tree.....trust me, i know. oh wait! that would be Keebler cookies :) guess i really dont know, and wonder why anyone cares.....it's some sort of longer MP headed graphite composite frame that he hits smokin' shots with because he's really good. but i think he is also expensive for some company to buy, and who knows how long he will be an attraction in the US..he's not an up and comer and certainly not one of the biggest racquet sellers on tour and his stock is more likely to go down than up in the future..

D. Nelson
05-25-2007, 03:23 PM
...well...that's ONE point of view.... I think we're missing an IMPLIED point here....he would be switching to...yes.....IMPROVE !!! And yes, it's QUITE possible that a 'tweaked' racquet (adjusted to his specs; gaining more comfort and efficiency in his swingpath and 'twitch' reactions as 2 examples...) could definitely get him to improve.... Now...IF that did happen...and the racquet company that produced that racquet was (in SOME part!!) responsible....CHII-CHING !!! EVERYbody's happy....!!! :)

Nerub
05-27-2007, 06:46 AM
Apparently, he was embarassed to continue taking Prince's money just for using their bag :)

Hahahahhahahahahah amen to that

Rabbit
05-27-2007, 08:20 AM
I kinda admire his integrity on the whole deal. He could have continued to carry a Prince bag and cash a Prince check and have said he was "consulting" with them on product development. Instead, he chose to own up to the fact that they weren't going to build anything he was really using. Seems like a stand up thing to do IMO.

BorisBecker1872
05-27-2007, 11:43 AM
My sentiments exactly and that's why JB is my favorite current player. :)

I kinda admire his integrity on the whole deal. He could have continued to carry a Prince bag and cash a Prince check and have said he was "consulting" with them on product development. Instead, he chose to own up to the fact that they weren't going to build anything he was really using. Seems like a stand up thing to do IMO.

ufgatorkid
05-27-2007, 12:14 PM
I kinda admire his integrity on the whole deal. He could have continued to carry a Prince bag and cash a Prince check and have said he was "consulting" with them on product development. Instead, he chose to own up to the fact that they weren't going to build anything he was really using. Seems like a stand up thing to do IMO.
Integrity? Integrity would have been to not sign with Prince in the first place when he never intended to switch racquets.

TalkingTennis91
05-27-2007, 12:18 PM
Integrity? Integrity would have been to not sign with Prince in the first place when he never intended to switch racquets.

Blake did intend, evidently, to try out their racquets to see if he actually wanted to make the switch. If you're making your living with a tool, you're not just going to make arbitrary changes to it, you're going to fully playtest things.

Obviously, he didn't find any of Prince's racquets to be to his liking, therefore he and Prince parted company.

AndrewD
05-27-2007, 03:47 PM
I kinda admire his integrity on the whole deal. He could have continued to carry a Prince bag and cash a Prince check and have said he was "consulting" with them on product development. Instead, he chose to own up to the fact that they weren't going to build anything he was really using. Seems like a stand up thing to do IMO.

Yet Blake signs with Dunlop and wants people to believe that he'll be switching to an Aerogel. That displays no integrity (incorruptibility and honesty) whatsoever. The 'stand up' thing to do would be to admit that he's not going to be using any of Dunlop's current product range and that whatever he's swinging won't incorporate Aerogel. Instead, he'll just be carrying a Dunlop bag, cashing a Dunlop cheque and claiming he's using one of their 'available to the public' frames.

Everyone is patting Blake on the back, however, my understanding is that Prince had an escape clause that kicked in when, after X number of months, Blake couldn't find a racquet to switch to. As Prince couldn't make full use of Blake in their advertising they exercised their right to terminate the contract. It was a business decision (same as it is with Dunlop), not an ethical one.

LarougeNY
05-27-2007, 04:11 PM
You have to wonder what aerogel they're putting in JB's hands now. The article said he would be rolling into the FO with a new aerogel-hard to believe- so its probably (hopefully) the 16x19 200 and that will cause Dunlop to open the racket to the market here stateside.

Richie Rich
05-27-2007, 05:04 PM
You have to wonder what aerogel they're putting in JB's hands now. The article said he would be rolling into the FO with a new aerogel-hard to believe- so its probably (hopefully) the 16x19 200 and that will cause Dunlop to open the racket to the market here stateside.

not so sure if blake would play with a 16x19 frame. diesn't seem like he even wants to think about changing racquets and his is 18x20

LarougeNY
05-27-2007, 07:36 PM
not so sure if blake would play with a 16x19 frame. diesn't seem like he even wants to think about changing racquets and his is 18x20

True. Forgot about that, then he's probably either playing the french with a blacked out frame or an AG200 pj.

Fedace
05-27-2007, 07:47 PM
True. Forgot about that, then he's probably either playing the french with a blacked out frame or an AG200 pj.

Now that we know Blake is signing with Dunlop and will be using Aerogel. Does anyone know which aerogel he will be using ? Apparently it is a new model that will be unveiled at Wimby. It is supposedly the best Aerogel yet.;)

crosscourt
05-29-2007, 05:42 AM
Yet Blake signs with Dunlop and wants people to believe that he'll be switching to an Aerogel. That displays no integrity (incorruptibility and honesty) whatsoever. The 'stand up' thing to do would be to admit that he's not going to be using any of Dunlop's current product range and that whatever he's swinging won't incorporate Aerogel. Instead, he'll just be carrying a Dunlop bag, cashing a Dunlop cheque and claiming he's using one of their 'available to the public' frames.

Everyone is patting Blake on the back, however, my understanding is that Prince had an escape clause that kicked in when, after X number of months, Blake couldn't find a racquet to switch to. As Prince couldn't make full use of Blake in their advertising they exercised their right to terminate the contract. It was a business decision (same as it is with Dunlop), not an ethical one.


And it's quite interesting that Prince thinks that Blake has to be seen to be playing with an 03 technology racket to want to endorse him.

Chauvalito
05-29-2007, 09:30 AM
Blakes racket that he is using today at the french has a dunlop stencil

I think he actually has left prince...and has signeed with dunlop.

I apologize if this has already been posted...

little_e
05-29-2007, 12:32 PM
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u260/matt_d32/74352137.jpg

You can make out the Dunlop stencil and it looks like there is tape or something over the Prince that was on the side of his racquet.

D. Nelson
05-29-2007, 01:23 PM
.....sponsors might just as well save some $$....James is OUT....ggggrrrr!!!!!!!

PBODY99
05-29-2007, 03:51 PM
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u260/matt_d32/74352137.jpg

You can make out the Dunlop stencil and it looks like there is tape or something over the Prince that was on the side of his racquet.
The lead is the way this frame has been set up for the past couple of years. He carried a Dunlop bag on the court and there have been press relaeses by both companies. Don't change a winning game.

AndrewD
05-29-2007, 05:22 PM
And it's quite interesting that Prince thinks that Blake has to be seen to be playing with an 03 technology racket to want to endorse him.

No, I think that's perfectly reasonable and a perfectly sound business decision. Also, lets be sensible here. It isn't that Prince needs Blake to be using an 03 frame but, rather, that Blake won't use anything else apart from his old racquet. If he won't use a Prince racquet then he has very little value to them and they'll get a lot more mileage out of pushing someone like Sam Querrey.

jackcrawford
05-29-2007, 06:59 PM
The lead is the way this frame has been set up for the past couple of years. He carried a Dunlop bag on the court and there have been press relaeses by both companies. Don't change a winning game.
Hasn't won much in the last six months - likely he'll regret blowing off the Prince deal as he couldn't play any worse with a broom.

Fedace
05-29-2007, 07:00 PM
The lead is the way this frame has been set up for the past couple of years. He carried a Dunlop bag on the court and there have been press relaeses by both companies. Don't change a winning game.

I sure hate to say this, but that new aerogel racket of his didn't exactly help him today. I could tell it was aerogel from the sound of it.

crosscourt
05-29-2007, 11:38 PM
No, I think that's perfectly reasonable and a perfectly sound business decision. Also, lets be sensible here. It isn't that Prince needs Blake to be using an 03 frame but, rather, that Blake won't use anything else apart from his old racquet. If he won't use a Prince racquet then he has very little value to them and they'll get a lot more mileage out of pushing someone like Sam Querrey.

Not saying its unreasonable -- just interesting. They could have painted his racket to look like the Diablo but didn't.

bertrevert
05-30-2007, 04:21 PM
It's great to have Blake using Dunlops again - big game: big heart.

You can see that for a pro, with so much money on the line, with their livelihood, their wellbeing, their pay cheque on the line - they simply don't change racquets with ease. I've never understood the worry in this forum over paint jobs. Questioning the ethics of pj's is ridiculous. Put yourself in Blake's place - would you risk losing by changing your tool of trade?

I din't think so...

RafaN RichardG
05-31-2007, 07:55 AM
I sure hate to say this, but that new aerogel racket of his didn't exactly help him today. I could tell it was aerogel from the sound of it.


are you sure? if it was an aerogel, since he's already back with dunlop, unless theyre making a special james blake racquet, wouldnt it already have had aerogel paint
hes been using that same blacked out dunlop for some time, i dont think right before the french hed switch to a blacked out aerogel, but who knows...

bertrevert
05-31-2007, 05:32 PM
Blake's racquet would be a pj. He wouldn't risk changing. Especially on clay. Would you? Didn't think so...

The sound it makes isn't going to confirm it's an aerogel.

They're going to get a lot of mileage out of James, whether he's winning or not because he is just a high profile tv-genic player, and unless he really goes on a complete losing streak, why wouldn't they want him?

rabidcow
05-31-2007, 05:38 PM
^^ Dunlop said they weren't revealing Blake's new racquet till Wimbledon

J-man
05-31-2007, 05:39 PM
I saw that he was back to Dunlop. Dunlop could use some top men players in their rooster

AndrewD
05-31-2007, 05:49 PM
They could have painted his racket to look like the Diablo but didn't.

Painting it to look like an Aerogel or 300G is one thing but painting it to look like another brand ( not that it would ever pass for a Diablo) is a whole different kettle of fish. Remember what happened to Dunlop when they pj'd Safin's old Prestige frames.

If he isn't using one of their racquets he just isn't worth the money. There's only a few players who really can sell enough racquets to be worth the big sponsorship dollars and Blake isn't one of them.

crazylevity
05-31-2007, 10:25 PM
I saw that he was back to Dunlop. Dunlop could use some top men players in their rooster


:grin: :grin: :grin: