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View Full Version : PJ's on Pro Rackets equals criminal fraud, no?


davetennis
01-25-2010, 05:20 PM
I suspect this has been asked before, but why is it not considered Criminal Fraud when a manufacturer states that "ABC model racket" is the racket of touring pro Joe Schmoe, when Joe Schmoe actually plays a totally different racket with a paint job to look like the latest and greatest marketing invention the manufacturer has this year?

This seems criminal and I just am wondering how they get away with this clear case of mass deception or intentional fraud.

Federer, Nadal and countless others are put forth as using rackets that are not the ones they actually use. This is fraud and deception.

Am I seeing this wrong?

FedererForehand
01-25-2010, 05:24 PM
Your either onto something or on something...

SuperDuy
01-25-2010, 05:27 PM
definatley on something...

star 5 15
01-25-2010, 05:30 PM
on a lot of something.

Enlightened Coelacanth
01-25-2010, 05:49 PM
It is misrepresentation. Yes. But hardly any pro plays with a stock, off the shelf racquet anyway (whether the general public understands this or not).
You have to find and play with what suits you and not what
Joe Pro uses.

davetennis
01-25-2010, 05:56 PM
I understand they customize, but if the base model is not the actually starting point from which they customize, they should not be allowed to market this way. Simple.

ManuGinobili
01-25-2010, 07:07 PM
How would the authority know the base model is not the starting point?

The manufacturers are allowed to keep the make up (material and weight distribution) of the rackets a secret, and they can always say the model is indeed the base for the pro's racket.

What manufacturers own and is legally obligated to is the IMAGE and appearance (in another word, the PJ) of the racket, not what it's made up of. That is why Head can make a clone of a Wilson if they choose to, and so can everybody else.

jwbarrientos
01-26-2010, 02:28 AM
Fraud, don't think so, since many people know the reality... cheating public isn't an issue here, Brands usually say things like "The racquet that this player prefer" ot those generally speaking speech.

AutoXer
01-26-2010, 04:18 AM
OP probably thinks Dale Jr. races in a Chevy Impala too.

Dave M
01-26-2010, 04:42 AM
How would the authority know the base model is not the starting point?

The manufacturers are allowed to keep the make up (material and weight distribution) of the rackets a secret, and they can always say the model is indeed the base for the pro's racket.

What manufacturers own and is legally obligated to is the IMAGE and appearance (in another word, the PJ) of the racket, not what it's made up of. That is why Head can make a clone of a Wilson if they choose to, and so can everybody else.
If it came to a court case they would probably hav to xplain the make up of their frames.
Fraud, don't think so, since many people know the reality... cheating public isn't an issue here, Brands usually say things like "The racquet that this player prefer" ot those generally speaking speech.
WEather people know or not doesn't matter if they come out and say " X uses this" than that has to be the truth, if however as you say the ad says " ksix one 95 JMDP racket of choice" it doesnt matter if he uses i or not as he doesn't say "and i use it on court"

jackcrawford
01-26-2010, 04:46 AM
Am I seeing this wrong?
To prove fraud legally, you have to prove that a "reasonable" person could be harmed in some way by the allegedly fraudulent claim. Since it is unreasonable to believe you can play like a pro by having their equipment, the manufacturer's claim is then considered harmless "puffing" like the '50's General Mills claim that Kix cereal was "shot from guns". The pro is under contract to that company to use some product the company has a legal right to give the pro, even if not that exact frame shown in an ad, and Kix ceral was extruded through a metal cylinder although not a six shooter - close enough in both cases to legally be a harmless exaggeration. This is unlikely to change since the new composition of the Supreme Court is not friendly to tenuous class action suits.

baseline_monster
01-26-2010, 06:11 AM
To be fair the guy does have a point. How many kids or tennis fans who dont search or are that interested in these threads go out and buy the radical say because Andy Murray uses it? Lots of people do, and even though they shouldnt buy a racket due to a player using it, its there money so thats fiar enough but it is deception in some cases and false advertising.

benasp
01-26-2010, 06:24 AM
Any lawyer in here ? I'm not one but i think there many way the can get away with it, for exemple saying APDC is the "racquet of choice" of Nadal can just mean he love the paintjob. And anyway beside this forum, there not much people who know the "conspiracy"

vsbabolat
01-26-2010, 06:51 AM
OP probably thinks Dale Jr. races in a Chevy Impala too.

That is apples and oranges and not comparable.

atomicx
01-26-2010, 07:51 AM
OP probably thinks Dale Jr. races in a Chevy Impala too.

Sorry, but I've been to Chevy car lots before and never seen an Impala that even remotely looks like the car Dale drives so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.

atomicx
01-26-2010, 07:57 AM
How would the authority know the base model is not the starting point?

Usually it is pretty obvious. Often the number of mains or crosses will be different. It is also pretty hard to fake things like Head's flexpoint holes. There is absolutely no reason to paint fake holes on a racquet other than to deceive people. I don't consider holes to be part of a paintjob.

flozerana
01-26-2010, 09:17 AM
Usually it is pretty obvious. Often the number of mains or crosses will be different. It is also pretty hard to fake things like Head's flexpoint holes. There is absolutely no reason to paint fake holes on a racquet other than to deceive people. I don't consider holes to be part of a paintjob.

Yeah, like 12 year old boys, who are only watching their favourite player on tv can identify the racket via counting the mains and crosses or seeing the head flexpoint, that's just ridiculous. One definitely has to check close up images on the internet to be quite sure which racket the pro is indeed using. For non-professionals, who do not deal with racket details, strings and all this stuff it is (in my opinion) absolutely impossible to identify PJs.

Hidious
01-26-2010, 09:44 AM
OP has a point and i admit my initial reaction was the same when i learned about paintjobs.

But hey, you'll eventually accept it. It's no worse than a doctor or dentist endorsing some silly health product.

wangs78
01-26-2010, 09:47 AM
To prove fraud legally, you have to prove that a "reasonable" person could be harmed in some way by the allegedly fraudulent claim. Since it is unreasonable to believe you can play like a pro by having their equipment, the manufacturer's claim is then considered harmless "puffing" like the '50's General Mills claim that Kix cereal was "shot from guns". The pro is under contract to that company to use some product the company has a legal right to give the pro, even if not that exact frame shown in an ad, and Kix ceral was extruded through a metal cylinder although not a six shooter - close enough in both cases to legally be a harmless exaggeration. This is unlikely to change since the new composition of the Supreme Court is not friendly to tenuous class action suits.

In other words, the law really only applies if the misrepresentation actually harms the plaintiff, right? And bc the only ppl who could be harmed are ones who are top tier tennis players where a racquet could make a difference, probably already know about the PJ deception then there is no real deception that is provable?

atomicx
01-26-2010, 10:43 AM
Yeah, like 12 year old boys, who are only watching their favourite player on tv can identify the racket via counting the mains and crosses or seeing the head flexpoint, that's just ridiculous. One definitely has to check close up images on the internet to be quite sure which racket the pro is indeed using. For non-professionals, who do not deal with racket details, strings and all this stuff it is (in my opinion) absolutely impossible to identify PJs.

Yeah, like if you would have read my post, you would have seen that it was in response to someone else who asked how the authorities would be able to distinguish whether pros were using the same base model that consumers buy in stores. I would hope the authorities would have better evidence than espn tv footage. Of course, this would never go that far anyway.

I agree, the average person has no way of knowing about the paintjobs unless they go out of their way to investigate and find out for themselves.

Azzurri
01-26-2010, 04:50 PM
Your either onto something or on something...

bye bye Matt Ellis!

ROCKinCourier
01-26-2010, 06:13 PM
Using a racquet because a certain pro uses it is kinda lame. I mean, the only reason some people are upset is they probably bought the "most up to date" racquet and are finding out the pro doesn't actually use it. So what? Hell, I just went back to the original pro staffs from my nsix-one tours. I went to the nsix-ones because i was down the 3 pro staffs, so I figured I might as well get used to something else. Well, I finally went back to my pro staffs because nothing else I pick up hits like them -- asked myself what I'm saving them for.

I don't put much importance on what racquet I use -- I go with what feels comfortable to me. That said, I am going to demo a few racquets and still try and find a replacement -- next up is the new Head Youtek Prestige Mid. I'll demo it, see how it feels -- I don't have much expectation for it though -- nothing, and I mean nothing, feels like my old pro staffs, unfortunately.

Don't Let It Bounce
01-26-2010, 06:24 PM
bye bye Matt Ellis!Is a joke that the OP might be on something grounds for banishment, or was it something in another thread?

jackcrawford
01-26-2010, 08:24 PM
In other words, the law really only applies if the misrepresentation actually harms the plaintiff, right? And bc the only ppl who could be harmed are ones who are top tier tennis players where a racquet could make a difference, probably already know about the PJ deception then there is no real deception that is provable? That's it.

OliverSimon
01-26-2010, 08:26 PM
The racquet companies just want money.

vsbabolat
01-26-2010, 08:30 PM
It's called bait and switch. Yes, proving a paint job is quite easy.

ipitythefool
01-26-2010, 09:17 PM
In other words, the law really only applies if the misrepresentation actually harms the plaintiff, right? And bc the only ppl who could be harmed are ones who are top tier tennis players where a racquet could make a difference, probably already know about the PJ deception then there is no real deception that is provable?

If the racquet buyers would be the Plaintiff, versus the major racquet manufacturers who misrepresent against the racquet buyers that their racquets are being played by their pros, I think it may be classified as a civil harm to P. Intentional misrepresentation can be tried in a civil court.

And with the exception of a certain group of people who work in the racquet industry -as well as informed group of consumers such as in these blogs- people are not aware that, an industry habit of "paintjobbing" pros' racquets every time new models come out do exist. Millions of actual racquet buyers are in fact, not aware of this.

I would argue that, at least a portion of such racquet buyers, in fact do buy, since they sympathize with the pro(s) who is (falsely) represented/advertised by the racquet company to play with the advertised model. When clicked on a certain (top) pro's name at ATP World website, the racquet he or she owns is (more than likely falsely) advertised and simply links to TW's racquets for sale.

Conclusively, I believe the people who buy based on such misrepresantation and false advertising, do have every right for suing based on compensatory and perhaps additional punitive damages based on deceitful conduct.

Puddy
01-26-2010, 10:07 PM
Silly argument. What about basketball shoe makers? They claim their players play better with their shoes? If you buy the latest Kobe shoe are you going to play better? Sort of off track but you know what I mean. :-?

Puddy
01-26-2010, 10:15 PM
If the racquet buyers would be the Plaintiff, versus the major racquet manufacturers who misrepresent against the racquet buyers that their racquets are being played by their pros, I think it may be classified as a civil harm to P. Intentional misrepresentation can be tried in a civil court.

And with the exception of a certain group of people who work in the racquet industry -as well as informed group of consumers such as in these blogs- people are not aware that, an industry habit of "paintjobbing" pros' racquets every time new models come out do exist. Millions of actual racquet buyers are in fact, not aware of this.

I would argue that, at least a portion of such racquet buyers, in fact do buy, since they sympathize with the pro(s) who is (falsely) represented/advertised by the racquet company to play with the advertised model. When clicked on a certain (top) pro's name at ATP World website, the racquet he or she owns is (more than likely falsely) advertised and simply links to TW's racquets for sale.

Conclusively, I believe the people who buy based on such misrepresantation and false advertising, do have every right for suing based on compensatory and perhaps additional punitive damages based on deceitful conduct.

I (and and am sure many others) see your point, but let's face it - it will never hold up in court.

By law, everybody has the right to sue anybody for anything, but if/when it goes to court is one thing but to think the judge and/or jury will favor for the plaintiff in this situation is just plain silly.

Please, no offense. :neutral:

ipitythefool
01-26-2010, 10:58 PM
Silly argument. What about basketball shoe makers? They claim their players play better with their shoes? If you buy the latest Kobe shoe are you going to play better? Sort of off track but you know what I mean. :-?

I do not think you understand what I mean.
The argument is not based on whether or not a racquet buyer will play better.

It is based on the fact that, a consumer buys a certain racquet because the same sympathizes with a certain pro. That, he/she wants to play with the same racquet as the same's favored pro.

Either he or she may or may not play better with the advertised racquet is not part of the argument. However, as a side argment, given consumer's willingness to play with the same racquet as his/her favored pro's may stem from his/her wish that, if he/she plays with the same racquet as his/her favored pro, this may ultimately help his/her game. However, if such consumer was deceived by the racquet maker to start with, he did not pay to buy the same racquet as per the (false) advertisement.

The racquet maker simply falsely advertised in a deceitful manner, to lure a consumer to think that, the same will play with the same racquet as his/her favored pro. But in fact, the consumer is not buying the same racquet! I believe, false advertisement is against the law!

ipitythefool
01-26-2010, 11:00 PM
I (and and am sure many others) see your point, but let's face it - it will never hold up in court.

By law, everybody has the right to sue anybody for anything, but if/when it goes to court is one thing but to think the judge and/or jury will favor for the plaintiff in this situation is just plain silly.

Please, no offense. :neutral:

None taken.
I remember, they used to say the same things about the People v. Big Tobacco as well :)

Azzurri
01-27-2010, 07:51 AM
Is a joke that the OP might be on something grounds for banishment, or was it something in another thread?

he has been banned numerous times. just took a while to get this username. he will be back.

matchmaker
01-27-2010, 08:19 AM
I think it should be punishable, certainly in the cases where a pro obviously uses a racquet with a different beam width or even head size than the model he or she is supposed to use.

Tsonga#1fan
01-27-2010, 09:31 AM
Players have been using custom frames since I have been of age to follow the sport. Even the "DONNAY BORG PRO" wood racquet was hardly a stock model the public could or would even want to purchase. Borg required at least two extra ply's of wood to be able to have that 78 lbs of string tension. Even back in the wood days most models said something such as "Endorsed by....."Joe Blo".....for tournament play" "Endorsing" something and actually using it are different.

ipitythefool
01-27-2010, 11:15 AM
Players have been using custom frames since I have been of age to follow the sport. Even the "DONNAY BORG PRO" wood racquet was hardly a stock model the public could or would even want to purchase. Borg required at least two extra ply's of wood to be able to have that 78 lbs of string tension. Even back in the wood days most models said something such as "Endorsed by....."Joe Blo".....for tournament play" "Endorsing" something and actually using it are different.


Well, a baseball player can endorse a certain baseball mitt. Basketball player can endorse a shoe. Or NBA can endorse a basket ball. (This does not necessarily mean that such baseball player personally use such baseball mit. Or that NBA actually does use the endorsed basket ball) This is one thing.

And deceiving consumers into buying a certain product -racquet, that is- via false commercials (that, a pro do use a certain racquet, wherein he/she actually does not) is another thing.

Tsonga#1fan
01-27-2010, 11:48 AM
Well, a baseball player can endorse a certain baseball mitt. Basketball player can endorse a shoe. Or NBA can endorse a basket ball. (This does not necessarily mean that such baseball player personally use such baseball mit. Or that NBA actually does use the endorsed basket ball) This is one thing.

And deceiving consumers into buying a certain product -racquet, that is- via false commercials (that, a pro do use a certain racquet, wherein he/she actually does not) is another thing.

Your point? How does anyone know what shoe a basketplayer uses or if that baseball player's mitt is custom made or not?

insiderman
01-27-2010, 01:42 PM
so, how (OP) do you explain NASCAR? Do you believe the Ford (example) in your driveway is the same? Give credit to a Company to create both & brand as one...

davetennis
01-27-2010, 04:26 PM
he has been banned numerous times. just took a while to get this username. he will be back.

Not sure what you are talking about, but I suspect you think I am some old poster who was banned...????

Not true. You can probably look at all my other posts (not too many) and know I am not some other trouble maker.

davetennis
01-27-2010, 04:35 PM
so, how (OP) do you explain NASCAR? Do you believe the Ford (example) in your driveway is the same? Give credit to a Company to create both & brand as one...

I really don't see this as a similar comparison, not even close... Everyone knows NASCAR and that those cars are not available in a dealership ala- Babolat "the racket of tour pro Andy Roddick or Rafa Nadal at your local tennis proshop. Big difference. Manufacturers create the perception that a player selects the best racket in their lineup and if it is good enough for them, you should also buy one. (if you want the best). When they bring out new sticks each year or two and the top pro always uses the latest and greatest....you should too.

No comparison to NASCAR.

TennisNinja
01-27-2010, 05:09 PM
OP has a point and i admit my initial reaction was the same when i learned about paintjobs.

But hey, you'll eventually accept it. It's no worse than a doctor or dentist endorsing some silly health product.

I had always believed that pro's actually swithced rackets to every new model as well.

vsbabolat
01-27-2010, 08:47 PM
so, how (OP) do you explain NASCAR? Do you believe the Ford (example) in your driveway is the same? Give credit to a Company to create both & brand as one...

That attitude is exactly what is wrong with the Racquet Industry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Listen to Dave!
I really don't see this as a similar comparison, not even close... Everyone knows NASCAR and that those cars are not available in a dealership ala- Babolat "the racket of tour pro Andy Roddick or Rafa Nadal at your local tennis proshop. Big difference. Manufacturers create the perception that a player selects the best racket in their lineup and if it is good enough for them, you should also buy one. (if you want the best). When they bring out new sticks each year or two and the top pro always uses the latest and greatest....you should too.

No comparison to NASCAR.

Or better yet listen to Jay Schweid: "Clearly it's not a great strategy to deceive the public," said Jay Schweid, a longtime stringer who customizes rackets for players He often is asked by players to verify that the rackets are indeed theirs after they have been painted to meet manufacturer's specifications. "The sport would be better if this would go away."

film1
01-27-2010, 09:02 PM
It sure angered a lot of people when they found out they were paying a premium price for a golf ball Nike claimed Tiger was using.
It's ridicules, some players in the past have not even used they same manufacturer their company claimed they use.

Look at the way the blx are flying off the shelf.
Big, big, big money because people want the same racquet they think their heros plays with, regardles if it enhances their game.

Pioneer
01-28-2010, 02:58 AM
I think that painjobs are absolute fraud, not only are they a crime but it's things like these that are responsible for the downward slope of society.

Painjobs mean the company cares more about sales than the satisfaction of its clients. Once a company doesn't care what its clients get, this will lead to worse quality.

Azzurri
01-28-2010, 03:26 AM
Not sure what you are talking about, but I suspect you think I am some old poster who was banned...????

Not true. You can probably look at all my other posts (not too many) and know I am not some other trouble maker.

settle down. I was talking to FedererForehand..note he is banned. Get a clue.

Puddy
01-31-2010, 11:08 PM
I think that painjobs are absolute fraud, not only are they a crime but it's things like these that are responsible for the downward slope of society.

Painjobs mean the company cares more about sales than the satisfaction of its clients. Once a company doesn't care what its clients get, this will lead to worse quality.

Crime? Wow, that's strong. Perhaps tort instead? Even that is a serious stretch. Again, no judge in his/her right mind would ever let this go to court (no pun intended).

This argument could also involve guitar makers. On example is the Fender Geddy Lee Bass (made in Japan, retail price about $799). Do you really think Geddy Lee of Rush uses this exact model? Most likely not - it is simply a consumer-friendly priced instrument produced to replicate his choice (and totally modified) vintage Fender Jazz bass guitar made decades ago.

I do, however, agree with you stating, "Painjobs mean the company cares more about sales than the satisfaction of its clients. Once a company doesn't care what its clients get, this will lead to worse quality."

All good :)

Solat
02-01-2010, 01:22 AM
any one think its the same as going to a restaurant and ordering a nice pad thai or something and then going home and making your own the next week coz you liked it so much?

yours isn't quite the same, not quite as good but still pretty tasty?

you can't make it as good coz your not a chef, same way that you can't really handle the pro stick coz your not a pro?

I had a practice swing around with an Agassi stick, that thing was so damn heavy, no way I would play better with that racquet. Certainly got more chance of being successful with the stock model

vsbabolat
02-01-2010, 09:53 AM
Crime? Wow, that's strong. Perhaps tort instead? Even that is a serious stretch. Again, no judge in his/her right mind would ever let this go to court (no pun intended).

This argument could also involve guitar makers. On example is the Fender Geddy Lee Bass (made in Japan, retail price about $799). Do you really think Geddy Lee of Rush uses this exact model? Most likely not - it is simply a consumer-friendly priced instrument produced to replicate his choice (and totally modified) vintage Fender Jazz bass guitar made decades ago.

I do, however, agree with you stating, "Painjobs mean the company cares more about sales than the satisfaction of its clients. Once a company doesn't care what its clients get, this will lead to worse quality."

All good :)

It is really not comparable. While Geddy Lee uses a Bass that was manufactured decades ago and Fender is trying to make a modern retail equivalent to sell. Many of today's Tennis players on the Tour are using racquets that while are out of production for retail Market. They are still in production for the Players on Tour. A great example is Rafael Nadal. Babolat promotes him as using the Babolat AeroPro Drive Cortex. The fact of the matter is Nadal has his Cortex painted on (It is not there). Justin Henin is now marketed as using the BLX Tour. The fact of the matter is she is still using a old Wilson Hammer with PowerHoles. I can go on and on and on.......... The point is the Racquet companies are deliberately lying to the public.
Nike was was sued some years ago over the Golf Ball that Tiger Woods was using. http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/story?id=100737&page=1
Woods Uses, Endorses Different Golf Balls
Tiger Woods Doesn’t Use
the Balls He Endorses
Shortly after being sued by a nonprofit consumer action group for unfair business practices, Nike admitted the golf ball Tiger Woods uses on the links is not the same one he endorses for the company.

Woods endorses the Nike Tour Accuracy golf balls in print and TV ads. But Mike Kelly, marketing director of Nike Golf, admitted Tuesday the world’s No. 1 player uses a custom-made ball with a harder inner and outer core that produces drives of 300 yards or more. That ball is not available to everyday duffers.

Nike’s admission came after the company was sued in federal court in San Francisco. The group Public Remedies filed the suit on Tuesday claiming, in essence, that Nike has dropped the ball on truth in advertising.

Common Practice?

The group accuses Nike of unfair business practices by misleading the public into believing the Nike ball they’re buying is the same one Woods uses. Woods, who used to endorse Titleist balls, has won three straight majors this year.

The Nike Tour Accuracy balls can cost $4 or more each, and the nonprofit group wants Nike to return money to the public.

Kelly contends slight equipment changes for a pro are common in the industry. He calls them minor specification changes — not just to balls, but to irons and putters, as well. However, other golf companies say they sell the same products their endorsing players use.

Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, didn’t return a call requesting comment.

Making the Switch

After using and endorsing Titleist balls since turning professional in 1996, Woods this year ended that endorsement deal to instead become a pitchman for Nike’s Tour Accuracy balls. He has used the Nike ball since May and formally made the equipment switch two weeks before the U.S. Open in June.

Nike executives said in July that sales of Nike’s golf ball jumped immediately after Woods won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 shots. Woods went on to win the British Open in July and the PGA Championship last weekend.
Woods signed with Nike immediately after turning pro, agreeing to a five-year deal worth $40 million. He is reportedly negotiating a new deal with Nike worth an estimated $100 million

Shortly after the suit was filed against Nike the Golf Ball that Woods had been using was brought yo market.

goran_ace
02-01-2010, 09:59 AM
- delete -

mtommer
02-01-2010, 10:29 AM
Everyone take note. There is NO difference between raquet PJ's and the Nike Golf ball scenario posted by VSBabalot. None. Think about that.

The issue isn't about whether you will play the same as a pro or not. The issue is that the racquets are being marketed as exactly the same as those used by the pro. People DO buy racquets because it's what the pros supposedly use. This is just reality. A reality, mind you, that the racquet mfg's are COUNTING on. That's it, end of story. Nothing else matters. If the product is not matching the marketing, there is a deliberate attempt at misleading the public for profit. This violates business ethics.

Shaolin
02-01-2010, 12:15 PM
It is really not comparable. While Geddy Lee uses a Bass that was manufactured decades ago and Fender is trying to make a modern retail equivalent to sell. Many of today's Tennis players on the Tour are using racquets that while are out of production for retail Market. They are still in production for the Players on Tour. A great example is Rafael Nadal. Babolat promotes him as using the Babolat AeroPro Drive Cortex. The fact of the matter is Nadal has his Cortex painted on (It is not there). Justin Henin is now marketed as using the BLX Tour. The fact of the matter is she is still using a old Wilson Hammer with PowerHoles. I can go on and on and on.......... The point is the Racquet companies are deliberately lying to the public.
Nike was was sued some years ago over the Golf Ball that Tiger Woods was using. http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/story?id=100737&page=1
Woods Uses, Endorses Different Golf Balls
Tiger Woods Doesn’t Use
the Balls He Endorses
Shortly after being sued by a nonprofit consumer action group for unfair business practices, Nike admitted the golf ball Tiger Woods uses on the links is not the same one he endorses for the company.

Woods endorses the Nike Tour Accuracy golf balls in print and TV ads. But Mike Kelly, marketing director of Nike Golf, admitted Tuesday the world’s No. 1 player uses a custom-made ball with a harder inner and outer core that produces drives of 300 yards or more. That ball is not available to everyday duffers.

Nike’s admission came after the company was sued in federal court in San Francisco. The group Public Remedies filed the suit on Tuesday claiming, in essence, that Nike has dropped the ball on truth in advertising.

Common Practice?

The group accuses Nike of unfair business practices by misleading the public into believing the Nike ball they’re buying is the same one Woods uses. Woods, who used to endorse Titleist balls, has won three straight majors this year.

The Nike Tour Accuracy balls can cost $4 or more each, and the nonprofit group wants Nike to return money to the public.

Kelly contends slight equipment changes for a pro are common in the industry. He calls them minor specification changes — not just to balls, but to irons and putters, as well. However, other golf companies say they sell the same products their endorsing players use.

Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, didn’t return a call requesting comment.

Making the Switch

After using and endorsing Titleist balls since turning professional in 1996, Woods this year ended that endorsement deal to instead become a pitchman for Nike’s Tour Accuracy balls. He has used the Nike ball since May and formally made the equipment switch two weeks before the U.S. Open in June.

Nike executives said in July that sales of Nike’s golf ball jumped immediately after Woods won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 shots. Woods went on to win the British Open in July and the PGA Championship last weekend.
Woods signed with Nike immediately after turning pro, agreeing to a five-year deal worth $40 million. He is reportedly negotiating a new deal with Nike worth an estimated $100 million

Shortly after the suit was filed against Nike the Golf Ball that Woods had been using was brought yo market.



This needs to happen in the tennis industry.

As a teaching pro I have had dozens of kids (and adults also) come to my lessons, talking about how excited they are that they are using ''Nadal's'' racquet, or Fed's or other. They cant wait to go out and hit with it. I used to explain to them what was actually going on, but it felt like telling a kid there really is no Santa Claus or something. They look dejected and feel ripped off.

One further problem with paintjobs is that it keeps better racquets off the shelves. The old Prestige and Pro Tour 630 are still widely used on tour, but discontinued to the general public. They would never do that if lots of tour players were still noticeably using them.

naturallight
02-01-2010, 07:08 PM
Come on guys, pj's may be immoral, but they're clearly not illegal. Hard to believe, but the racquet companies do have lawyers working for them.

I think the racquet companies get around it by never stating that a racquet is being used by a player for a specific tournament. Instead, they make vague claims that are probably true.

From Wilson: "Ranked #1 in the world, Roger Federer uses the Six.One Tour BLX." Fed could hit one ball a year with the BLX and this claim would be technically true.

From Head: "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for extra power." You could drive a truck through this loophole.

Puddy
02-03-2010, 10:05 PM
Come on guys, pj's may be immoral, but they're clearly not illegal. Hard to believe, but the racquet companies do have lawyers working for them.

I think the racquet companies get around it by never stating that a racquet is being used by a player for a specific tournament. Instead, they make vague claims that are probably true.

From Wilson: "Ranked #1 in the world, Roger Federer uses the Six.One Tour BLX." Fed could hit one ball a year with the BLX and this claim would be technically true.

From Head: "This is Andy Murray’s racquet of choice for extra power." You could drive a truck through this loophole.

Well stated.