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Greg Raven
06-09-2012, 06:54 AM
Did anyone else hear John McEnroe say the other day that before Nadal started using Babolat racquets, Babolat had no racquet business? He made it sound as if it was mainly due to Nadal's popularity that Babolat had FINALLY become a serious company.

I realize that McEnroe and Gimelstob are hired as commentators more for their ability to talk non-stop for hours, rather than because they are ever correct or even insightful about anything, but this is ridiculous.

Just for the record:

+ Babolat been in the tennis business since 1874.
+ Babolat strings were by far the most popular strings on the tour before the introduction of Luxilon strings.
+ A lot of players still use Babolat strings, both natural gut and polyester.
+ Babolat has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading stringing machines for decades.
+ Babolat start making racquets in 1994.
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

hcb0804
06-09-2012, 07:27 AM
Did anyone else hear John McEnroe say the other day that before Nadal started using Babolat racquets, Babolat had no racquet business? He made it sound as if it was mainly due to Nadal's popularity that Babolat had FINALLY become a serious company.

I realize that McEnroe and Gimelstob are hired as commentators more for their ability to talk non-stop for hours, rather than because they are ever correct or even insightful about anything, but this is ridiculous.

Just for the record:

+ Babolat been in the tennis business since 1874.
+ Babolat strings were by far the most popular strings on the tour before the introduction of Luxilon strings.
+ A lot of players still use Babolat strings, both natural gut and polyester.
+ Babolat has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading stringing machines for decades.
+ Babolat start making racquets in 1994.
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

And Clijsters among others.......I took Macs point to be that Babolat racquet business really exploded with the emergence of Nadal, which is true. Yes of course they have been making racquets since 1994, but Babolat had a relatively small piece of the pie until Nadal.

El Diablo
06-09-2012, 07:27 AM
Not sure why you list points about Babolat's string and stringing machines, when Mac was referring to the racquet business. Completely irrrelevant. Only your last point makes some sense; I bought my first Bab well befoe Roddick, when Moya caught my eye using one, and they were already becoming hard to get (dealer told me Bab was giving away so many of them to promising juniors already that the dealers sometimes had trouble getting them).

tlm
06-09-2012, 08:14 AM
I like mac as a announcer but he has no clue on modern day equipment. I love it when he talks about the new luxilon synthetic strings, he never says poly strings i don't know if he even knows they are poly.

Bhagi Katbamna
06-09-2012, 09:08 AM
I like mac as a announcer but he has no clue on modern day equipment. I love it when he talks about the new luxilon synthetic strings, he never says poly strings i don't know if he even knows they are poly.

You have to understand that to Mac, anything that isn't natural gut is "synthetic" so even though it makes him sound like he is saying synthetic gut and polyester is the same, he knows it isn't.

decades
06-09-2012, 09:12 AM
Did anyone else hear John McEnroe say the other day that before Nadal started using Babolat racquets, Babolat had no racquet business? He made it sound as if it was mainly due to Nadal's popularity that Babolat had FINALLY become a serious company.

I realize that McEnroe and Gimelstob are hired as commentators more for their ability to talk non-stop for hours, rather than because they are ever correct or even insightful about anything, but this is ridiculous.

Just for the record:

+ Babolat been in the tennis business since 1874.
+ Babolat strings were by far the most popular strings on the tour before the introduction of Luxilon strings.
+ A lot of players still use Babolat strings, both natural gut and polyester.
+ Babolat has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading stringing machines for decades.
+ Babolat start making racquets in 1994.
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

he probably meant they became a serious racquet company, which is mostly true. selling strings grips and machines is more akin to Gamma than wilson. Nadal put Babalot racquets on the map globally.

mcnota
06-09-2012, 09:54 AM
nadal made babolat, without nadal babolat is nothing but a natural gut company

Venetian
06-09-2012, 10:02 AM
Even the idea that their racquets really took off because of Nadal is false. Babolat's racquet line exploded thanks to Andy Roddick in 2001/2002. I think Roddick did WAY more for the brand than Nadal. You still can't go to any level of tennis tournament without seeing close to 200 Pure Drives.

ATXtennisaddict
06-09-2012, 10:39 AM
Don't forget Roddick and the Pure Drive.

tlm
06-09-2012, 10:56 AM
You have to understand that to Mac, anything that isn't natural gut is "synthetic" so even though it makes him sound like he is saying synthetic gut and polyester is the same, he knows it isn't.


I understand that but you would think a modern day announcer would know the term poly strings and also know that they are not these new synthetic strings as he says. They are only new to people like him who have no idea about todays modern equipment.

mavsman149
06-09-2012, 11:21 AM
No doubt Nadal is a better player than roddick could ever dream of becoming but roddick absolutely did far more for the brand than nadal.....before nadal won his first french open babolat was already a huge brand thanks to roddick and the pure drive

brinkeguthrie
06-09-2012, 11:23 AM
I remember when all the brand was, was "VS Gut," period.

ericsson
06-09-2012, 12:35 PM
The reason Nadal uses Babolat is Carlos Moya which was his mentor/idol...
Moya put Babolat rackets on the map, the rest is history.

sureshs
06-09-2012, 12:42 PM
Roddique and Moya

Fed Kennedy
06-09-2012, 01:02 PM
Damn kids and their synthetics in my day We played in the snow

JGads
06-09-2012, 01:13 PM
I realize that McEnroe and Gimelstob are hired as commentators more for their ability to talk non-stop for hours, rather than because they are ever correct or even insightful about anything, but this is ridiculous.


Second rule of Fight Club: nobody bashes Johnny Mac, no matter what he says. Legend.

The tennis gods will get you. Probably with a Dunlop.

Wuppy
06-09-2012, 01:15 PM
I agree with the announcer man

Shasha
06-09-2012, 01:42 PM
The reason Nadal uses Babolat is Carlos Moya which was his mentor/idol...
Moya put Babolat rackets on the map, the rest is history.

Agree, Roddick helped too, but a bit later.

Torres
06-09-2012, 01:51 PM
Just for the record:

+ Babolat been in the tennis business since 1874.
+ Babolat strings were by far the most popular strings on the tour before the introduction of Luxilon strings.
+ A lot of players still use Babolat strings, both natural gut and polyester.
+ Babolat has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading stringing machines for decades.
+ Babolat start making racquets in 1994.
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

McEnroe was talking about their racquet business, not Babolat as a tennis company so that stuff you mention about strings and stringing machines is neither here nor there. Babolat historically was always a string company, selling primarily natural gut. Larger, with a halo product of VS, and longer history, but really not too dissimilar to what Tecnifibre is today.

I have to agree with McEnroe. Nadal had a MASSIVE effect on popoularizing Babolat's (then small) racquet business and turning it into what it is today particularly amongst recreational players. Their market share before Nadal started winning slams was tiny. Everyone buys APDs because of the association with Nadal and the hugely successful 'spin' marketing campaign which again, is centered around Nadal. This whole 'spin / Nadal' thing really has been a unique selling point and hugely successful. It's not as if Tsonga for example is going to sell many APDCs. Nadal has had the same effect with RPM.

Roddick increased brand awareness in the US but he's nowhere now, but due to increasd awareness of their brand (Nadal) in the market, the massively increased revenues generated, its allowed Babolat to increase their market share (at the expense of Prince and smaller manufacturers) and sponsorship of more tour players, particularly on the WTA and at junior levels. Babaolat's racquets business wouldn't be anything close to what it is today without Nadal.

PED
06-09-2012, 02:02 PM
Moya put Babolat rackets on the map, the rest is history.

+1, when my son was playing junior tourneys back in 05, PD was the default stick of choice out there.

Rafa has since taken them higher sales wise, but Moya started it all and ARod popularity was a massive boost here in the states.

Venetian
06-09-2012, 02:41 PM
McEnroe was talking about their racquet business, not Babolat as a tennis company so that stuff you mention about strings and stringing machines is neither here nor there. Babolat historically was always a string company, selling primarily natural gut. Larger, with a halo product of VS, and longer history, but really not too dissimilar to what Tecnifibre is today.

I have to agree with McEnroe. Nadal had a MASSIVE effect on popoularizing Babolat's (then small) racquet business and turning it into what it is today particularly amongst recreational players. Their market share before Nadal started winning slams was tiny. Everyone buys APDs because of the association with Nadal and the hugely successful 'spin' marketing campaign which again, is centered around Nadal. This whole 'spin / Nadal' thing really has been a unique selling point and hugely successful. It's not as if Tsonga for example is going to sell many APDCs. Nadal has had the same effect with RPM.

Roddick increased brand awareness in the US but he's nowhere now, but due to increasd awareness of their brand (Nadal) in the market, the massively increased revenues generated, its allowed Babolat to increase their market share (at the expense of Prince and smaller manufacturers) and sponsorship of more tour players, particularly on the WTA and at junior levels. Babaolat's racquets business wouldn't be anything close to what it is today without Nadal.

Not correct at all. Babolat is everywhere BECAUSE of Roddick. I still see way, way more PDs than APDs out and about. You must not have been playing tennis for very long if you think Babolat had a small presence in the racquet industry before Nadal came along. It literally blew up around 2001 when Roddick hit the scene. After that every tournament and every public court was virtually nothing but Pure Drives.

People also keep mentioning Moya, but he was nowhere near as influential as Roddick in getting the public to buy off on the Pure Drive. Even though Roddick was not out winning slams left and right, he was a young, good looking, charasmatic kid with a booming serve and forehand. He was supposed to be the next big American player and everyone wanted to use what he used.

Torres
06-09-2012, 03:13 PM
Babolat is everywhere BECAUSE of Roddick.

Don't make me laugh.

tennis_balla
06-09-2012, 03:34 PM
Don't make me laugh.

Roddick is a big reason Babolat gained so much popularity. It might not seem like it but he sells a TON of rackets for them. This isn't some fact I'm pulling out of my *****, I had a discussion about this with one of the Babolat reps in Canada a year or so ago and those were more or less his words. You wouldn't think it, but Roddick helped as much if not more than Rafa but of course Rafa's influence on the brand is big as well. Still the biggest selling racket of the past decade is the PD.

Venetian
06-09-2012, 03:56 PM
I don't understand why people wouldn't think that Roddick had a big influence. I thought that was common knowledge. Babolat racquets were huge well before Nadal came unto the scene around 2005. And he didn't become really popular until a year or so after that. I remember playing in high school in 2001-2002 when out of nowhere every other junior in the world started using the Pure Drive.

Heck, Roddick even has his own signature Babolat racquet. That should tell you something.

Venetian
06-09-2012, 03:59 PM
Here's a quote from an interview with Babolat Vice President Jean-Louis Boyre...

Boyre admits that “without Andy Roddick, we wouldn’t be at the same level. He has played a major role in where we are in the U.S. today.” But for Babolat, success bred more success, says Boyre. “Because more and more competitors are product-oriented, they will move to a successful brand.”

http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/articles/2004/07/risky_business.html

Venetian
06-09-2012, 04:07 PM
Another article....

Buy It and Be Great

By JOE NOCERA
Published: August 19, 2007

“Psychology is very strong in tennis,” Eric Babolat was saying. He was speaking to me from France, where his family-owned company, Babolat, has its headquarters; at age 37, Eric is from the fifth generation of Babolats to run it.

How did Babolat become such a hot racket company so quickly? Luck, and some brilliant fantasy tennis.

True enough, psychology is important in any tennis match. But that's not really what Babolat was referring to. Rather, he was talking about the relationship between a player and his racket, how the right racket can bring to mind that line from “Sweeney Todd”: “At last, my right arm is complete!” And from a commercial point of view, he was talking about another kind of psychology, the kind that can cause a piece of sports equipment to become the “it” racket.

Eric should know. Though his company has been around since the dawn of modern tennis itself — his great-great-grandfather, who sold strings for musical instruments, created the first natural gut string in 1877 — it was only 13 years ago that his father, the late Pierre Babolat, made the decision to manufacture a racket. Six years later, in 2000, the company began selling its Pure Drive line of rackets in the United States.

In retrospect, this surely ranks as one of those Harvard Business School case-study moments. With the tennis industry in the dumps, and the racket business dominated by Head, Prince and Wilson, most people thought Pierre Babolat was nuts to get into rackets. Now he looks like a genius. From a standing start, the company has reached about 16 percent market share, and it is closing fast on Head. (Wilson is the leader, with just under 30 percent of the market, but it sells to big-box stores like WalMart, which Babolat refuses to do.) Since it introduced rackets, Babolat's revenue has more than tripled, to $117 million in 2006 sales. “They have taken tennis by storm,” says Mark Mason, the longtime proprietor of Mason's Tennis Mart in Manhattan. “I've never seen anything like it.”

If you play tennis, or even just watch the pros, you've surely noticed the Babolat phenomenon. The rackets are everywhere — at your local courts, and at this year's United States Open, where a huge number of players will be using them.

Babolat will tell you that its secret sauce is its patented Woofer technology, which it says keeps the ball on the strings a split-second longer, imparting a trampoline-like rebound. Others note the rackets' “good looks,” with their clean and distinctive colored lines (depending on the model). But if I were writing the Harvard case study, I would stress something else: pure dumb luck. Sometimes, as the old saying goes, it's better to be lucky than good.

Do you know about James Blake and Dunlop? Years ago, Blake began using Dunlop rackets, eventually signing an endorsement deal with the company. But in 2004 he had his annus horribilis — the broken neck, the death of his father, the shingles — and Dunlop dropped him. The following year, when Blake staged his remarkable resurgence, he signed with Prince. The problem was that Blake could never get comfortable with his Prince racket. There were even rumors that Blake was painting Dunlop rackets to make them look like Prince rackets. Finally, this past May, psychology won: he officially returned to Dunlop.

The moral of the story should be obvious: when a player finds a “stick” he really likes, he is loath to switch — even when someone will pay him millions to do so. For racket companies, there is another moral: the earlier you can get your racket into the hands of young, promising players, the more likely they are to keep using it as they rise through the ranks.

Each of the four big racket manufacturers, including Babolat, has a grass-roots program for getting promising juniors to use its rackets. Golf and ski companies have their own junior programs, but only the elite of the elites get free equipment; in tennis, the companies compete to distribute rackets to not only the top 20 juniors in every country, who usually get them free, but the top 100, who can buy rackets at a reduced price.

Why? Because tennis marketers are convinced that when people watch good players, they want to try their rackets. “A player who is ranked 80th nationally could be the best player in some city or some big tennis club,” says Max Brownlee, who started up Babolat's United States operation in 2000. And when juniors see higher-ranked juniors using a racket, they often want to try it, to see if it raises their game as well.

Most juniors eventually flame out, but some turn pro — and thus create another marketing opportunity. While companies build ad campaigns around top players like Andre Agassi (Head) or Roger Federer (Wilson), club players also notice what racket their favorite player is using and often buy an amateur version of it. (The pros' rackets are rarely identical to those sold at retail; pros usually customize their rackets.) Which brings us back to Babolat.

Babolat came to the racket business with a big advantage: it had a lock on the market for natural gut strings, which are what most serious players want to use. Babolat strings are in such demand that the company has never needed to offer endorsement deals and has given them away only in the rarest of circumstances. (Pete Sampras was one of the few players who received free strings.) So when Babolat started its grass-roots program, it had the lure of free or reduced-price strings to get juniors to use its rackets.

And it had luck. In 1999, a year before Babolat came to the United States and began signing up juniors, a Babolat executive named Luca Appino started talking to a tennis coach named Tarik Benhabiles about having his 17-year-old player use Babolat. Appino, who no longer works for the company, and Benhabiles, who no longer coaches the player, were old friends. At the time, the only pro using Babolat was the Spaniard Carlos Moya, from Majorca. He was “a good-looking, flamboyant dude,” in the words of tennis agent Ken Meyerson, but not someone who was going to move a lot of product outside Europe.

Benhabiles's player was an American junior almost no one had heard of, Andy Roddick. “I didn't know much about him,” concedes Brownlee, who at the time was working for Prince. Back then, Roddick didn't have a big reputation; in 1999, he lost in the first round of two of the junior grand slam tournaments. Volkl was the only other company willing to give Roddick a racket, but he chose Babolat because of his coach's relationship with Appino.

A year later everything changed. Roddick won three out of the four boys' majors and became the No. 1 junior in the world. Other juniors took notice, especially of his monster serve. Some actually phoned Babolat in France, to see if they too could get “Andy's racket.” “If he had been out there with a broomstick,” says Rick Macci, who coached Roddick between ages 9 and 14, “I think people would have wanted to try a broomstick.”

Over the next three years, Roddick was the hottest thing in tennis, an electrifying player with a crowd-pleasing personality. And — how blessed can Babolat be? — he was American. If you are going to sell rackets in America, you need an American star.

Needless to say, it wasn't long before Babolat was doing something it doesn't often do: paying Roddick to endorse its rackets. His agent, Meyerson, negotiated a small six-figure deal in 2000, shortly after Roddick turned pro, and then a much larger deal in 2003, right around the time Roddick won the United States Open. That deal nets him millions a year. Would Roddick have changed rackets had Babolat low-balled him? Probably not. But the company decided not to take that risk. A happy endorser is always better than a grouchy one.

Eric Babolat was running the company by then. His father, Pierre, had died in 1998, in a plane crash returning from the United States Open. Pierre got to see Carlos Moya win the French Open in 1998 with a Babolat racket, but he died well before Babolat took tennis by storm. “I regret the most for my father that he never got to see the success,” Eric Babolat says. “He was vindicated after his death.”

Roddick is still a hugely important endorser for Babolat, even as he has slipped in the rankings and Federer and Rafael Nadal have come to dominate the men's tour. He has a signature racket, called Pure Drive Roddick, which earns him royalties. When Eric Babolat decided to get into the highly competitive tennis shoe business a few years ago, he quickly got Roddick to agree to wear the shoes and signed him up as an endorser. Today, if you go to the Babolat display in any tennis store in the United States, you'll see ads for Roddick and his racket and shoes.

But you'll also see ads for someone else: Rafael Nadal. And here you can only shake your head in wonder. Nadal was missed by the grass-roots programs of the big racket makers, yet wound up with Babolat.

Why? Because he comes from Majorca. His idol is none other than the original Babolat man, Carlos Moya. Is it any surprise, then, that Nadal would use the same racket as Moya? Not to anyone who markets tennis rackets.

Today, at age 21, Nadal is one of the great forces in tennis, the one true rival to Federer. The pace and spin with which he hits the ball generate the same kind of awe as Roddick's service. That in turn leads juniors — and lots of club players — to the Babolat Aeropro, which is Nadal's racket. Not long ago, Babolat locked up Nadal with a 10-year deal, for a multimillion-dollar sum that makes him among the top racket endorsers (obviously Roddick is in the same category).

Sales of the Babolat Aeropro, Brownlee told me, are 18 months ahead of projections. Then he let out a small chuckle and added, “What can you say?”

Harvard Business School couldn't have put it better.

nn
06-09-2012, 04:17 PM
+1, when my son was playing junior tourneys back in 05, PD was the default stick of choice out there.

Rafa has since taken them higher sales wise, but Moya started it all and ARod popularity was a massive boost here in the states.

you are right.. I remember when he won his USOPEN and first time he beat pete people notice his racquet etc...

JW10S
06-09-2012, 04:32 PM
I'm sure Roddick had big influence in the US but I think Nadal has had a greater worldwide impact on the company. Either way the one thing Babolat did that was smart is that aside from Moya in the beginning they signed a lot of top junior players to use their racquets and therefore got a fairly big grassroots following. I see Solinco currently trying to do the same thing.

TheRed
06-09-2012, 04:33 PM
Don't make me laugh.

You should laugh. I ran a pro shop in 2001-2002 and Babolat was the "It" racquet company then. Customers were asking for Babs (we weren't carrying Bab racquets yet) and what they were asking for was the pure drive. It was Roddick and purely roddick that made Babolat a household racquet name.

tistrapukcipeht
06-09-2012, 04:40 PM
McEnroe was talking about their racquet business, not Babolat as a tennis company so that stuff you mention about strings and stringing machines is neither here nor there. Babolat historically was always a string company, selling primarily natural gut. Larger, with a halo product of VS, and longer history, but really not too dissimilar to what Tecnifibre is today.

I have to agree with McEnroe. Nadal had a MASSIVE effect on popoularizing Babolat's (then small) racquet business and turning it into what it is today particularly amongst recreational players. Their market share before Nadal started winning slams was tiny. Everyone buys APDs because of the association with Nadal and the hugely successful 'spin' marketing campaign which again, is centered around Nadal. This whole 'spin / Nadal' thing really has been a unique selling point and hugely successful. It's not as if Tsonga for example is going to sell many APDCs. Nadal has had the same effect with RPM.

Roddick increased brand awareness in the US but he's nowhere now, but due to increasd awareness of their brand (Nadal) in the market, the massively increased revenues generated, its allowed Babolat to increase their market share (at the expense of Prince and smaller manufacturers) and sponsorship of more tour players, particularly on the WTA and at junior levels. Babaolat's racquets business wouldn't be anything close to what it is today without Nadal.

I agree with everything you said.

Babolat makes horrible racquets, low quality, cheap, no feel, almost like a cell vibrator, Drakulie presented the facts, it is only because Nadal uses it (I heard He doesn't even use these new ones) they sell a lot, I demoed them (APD and PD), these were the worst racquets I put my hands on.

This is one of the threads with Drakulie presenting the facts.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=422952

TopFH
06-09-2012, 04:41 PM
People should give credit where it's due. Roddick single-handedly made Babolat a name.

JGads
06-09-2012, 05:20 PM
Guys. Who cares?

Greg Raven
06-09-2012, 05:21 PM
Not sure why you list points about Babolat's string and stringing machines, when Mac was referring to the racquet business. Completely irrrelevant. [snip]

I was attempting to provide context in my point, which is that McEnroe was dead wrong about Babolat being some backwater company until Nadal came along. As frosting on the cake, he was dead wrong about one of the oldest and most respected tennis companies on the planet. He should have known better than to slime them, and that rather than just blurting out something false and negative about Babolat, he should have given the matter a moment's thought. If he's incapable of thinking before speaking, then he shouldn't be paid for speaking.

jackcrawford
06-09-2012, 06:39 PM
I don't understand why people wouldn't think that Roddick had a big influence. I thought that was common knowledge. Babolat racquets were huge well before Nadal came unto the scene around 2005. And he didn't become really popular until a year or so after that. I remember playing in high school in 2001-2002 when out of nowhere every other junior in the world started using the Pure Drive.

Heck, Roddick even has his own signature Babolat racquet. That should tell you something.Some people just dig themselves in deeper rather than admit they're wrong. The Pure Drive was everywhere in 2004 when Nadal's highest ranking was in the 30's - if you want a good laugh, watch the then formidable Roddick blow Nadal off the court http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDYsdEzp9is and bloody his face at their 2004 US Open match http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/3626326.stm.

sports4eva115
06-09-2012, 06:57 PM
the pure drive was popular when I first started (around when roddick was good but constantly denied by federer), the number of pure drives i saw back then cant compare to the number of aeropro drives I see now
so imo babolat has always had a good share of racket business, but like federer with wilson, its nadal that allowed babolat to get a chunk more of the sales

vsbabolat
06-09-2012, 07:09 PM
I was attempting to provide context in my point, which is that McEnroe was dead wrong about Babolat being some backwater company until Nadal came along. As frosting on the cake, he was dead wrong about one of the oldest and most respected tennis companies on the planet. He should have known better than to slime them, and that rather than just blurting out something false and negative about Babolat, he should have given the matter a moment's thought. If he's incapable of thinking before speaking, then he shouldn't be paid for speaking.

I can tell you I have lost a lot of respect for Babolat when they changed and ruined their gut with BT7.

CDestroyer
06-09-2012, 07:19 PM
I agree with everything you said.

Babolat makes horrible racquets, low quality, cheap, no feel, almost like a cell vibrator, Drakulie presented the facts, it is only because Nadal uses it (I heard He doesn't even use these new ones) they sell a lot, I demoed them (APD and PD), these were the worst racquets I put my hands on.

This is one of the threads with Drakulie presenting the facts.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=422952

I agree with everything you said and thats a good thread you linked to. Funny how a Babolat rep chimed in with typical lip service. Fact is Babolat does not stand behind their crappy product very well.

The margins have to be good on those cheap racquets.

drakulie
06-09-2012, 07:52 PM
Mcenroe as well as Navratilova also contiually spew stupidities such as,

"The strings these players hit with today are far more powerful than what we used". :roll:

They all have no clue.

CDestroyer
06-09-2012, 08:29 PM
Mcenroe as well as Navratilova also contiually spew stupidities such as,

"The strings these players hit with today are far more powerful than what we used". :roll:

They all have no clue.

Just to highlight herself because she had to use such primitive tools.

ruerooo
06-09-2012, 08:33 PM
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

Emphasis on A-Rod only in the states, I'll bet.

Rafa started using a Babolat racquet because Carlos used one.

(Have you listened ever to any of his Spanish interviews? He wanted to do everything his mentor did.)

tomaskei123
06-09-2012, 09:27 PM
Did anyone else hear John McEnroe say the other day that before Nadal started using Babolat racquets, Babolat had no racquet business? He made it sound as if it was mainly due to Nadal's popularity that Babolat had FINALLY become a serious company.

I realize that McEnroe and Gimelstob are hired as commentators more for their ability to talk non-stop for hours, rather than because they are ever correct or even insightful about anything, but this is ridiculous.

Just for the record:

+ Babolat been in the tennis business since 1874.
+ Babolat strings were by far the most popular strings on the tour before the introduction of Luxilon strings.
+ A lot of players still use Babolat strings, both natural gut and polyester.
+ Babolat has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading stringing machines for decades.
+ Babolat start making racquets in 1994.
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

y does this bother u,u seem really angry :confused:

connico
06-10-2012, 03:36 AM
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

I think after the pro-drive with the white stripes came out and Roddick started to really hammer those serves is when babolat took off. I think it was in the 2000s when babolat really took off in the united states. Before than it was a European brand only.

tennis_balla
06-10-2012, 04:09 AM
The US market is huge. Tennis is more popular in Europe but because the US market is so large, companies have to make it there in order to be considered big time. This is where Roddick played a key role for Babolat in their beginnings going into the racket industry so his influence on the brands popularity can be argued was bigger then Nadal's.

There are only a handful of players who directly sell merchandise for companies. That is why they are paid big contracts. Roddick is one of them as per my conversation with the head Babolat rep in Canada. Just the way it is.

Greg Raven
06-10-2012, 06:47 AM
y does this bother u,u seem really angry :confused:

It bothers me because I think tennis is the best game ever devised by man, but to watch it on TV usually means having to endure non-stop drivel and stupid utterances by the commentators.

It used to be that the commentators for the Monte Carlo masters had very little to say, and it was wonder. For that matter, it used to be that the commentators on U.S. televised tennis would shut their festering gobs during the point.

These days, not only do the comments talk throughout the match, but they often talk about things other than the match, to the point where much of what they say is blindingly obvious, off topic, idiotic, or just plain incorrect.

This shows they have less respect for the game than for the sound of their own voice. This ruins my enjoyment of the match, and degrades the very game itself.

drakulie
06-10-2012, 06:50 AM
^^^^^couldn't agree more.

Even worse is when the terrible 5 commentate (carillo, shiver, fernandez, navratilova, evert)

tennis_balla
06-10-2012, 06:54 AM
Pam Shriver is the absolute worst. Remember Blake getting ****ed off at her during his match at Wimbledon a few years back. Even after he told her off, she still didn't shut up and kept talking.

Venetian
06-10-2012, 10:57 AM
The US market is huge. Tennis is more popular in Europe but because the US market is so large, companies have to make it there in order to be considered big time. This is where Roddick played a key role for Babolat in their beginnings going into the racket industry so his influence on the brands popularity can be argued was bigger then Nadal's.

There are only a handful of players who directly sell merchandise for companies. That is why they are paid big contracts. Roddick is one of them as per my conversation with the head Babolat rep in Canada. Just the way it is.

+1

Babolat was already doing decent business in Europe at the time, thanks in part to Moya. But to really be considered a top brand in the racquet industry Babolat had to break into the US market. Roddick allowed them to do that.

tennis_balla
06-10-2012, 11:50 AM
As far back as 2002, before anyone ever heard of Rafa, the talk was about Babolat rackets. Babolat was very aggressive in their campaign in North America, giving average ranked players 2 rackets, a bag and some strings for $200 if I remember correctly. Word got around and a fair bit of guys switched or at least gave the rackets a demo. By the time Rafa won Roland Garros in 2005, Babolat was already pretty well established in the US and worldwide.

junbumkim
06-10-2012, 11:51 AM
Babolat had relatively limited racket selection up untill 1999~2000. Their entire racket selection was probably fewer than 10. Even among European players, they were not very common. I can only think of Moya, Clisjters, and Hantuchova who were using them....Needless to say, they were quite rare in US.

Babolat began to expand their racket line in 1999, and Roddick came onto the scene in 2001, which helped US become familiar with the rackets. I would say it was probably the beginning of Babolat "boom" if you would call it....Then, Nadal came along...Hard to say, what it would have been like w/o Nadal..But, they do make good rackets.

JoelDali
06-10-2012, 04:56 PM
Roger would win a slam if he switched to Babolat. Too stubborn though.

rh310
06-10-2012, 05:06 PM
I like mac as a announcer but he has no clue on modern day equipment. I love it when he talks about the new luxilon synthetic strings, he never says poly strings i don't know if he even knows they are poly.

I remember seeing a segment during Wimbledon coverage about 10 years ago, on why the ball moved through the air faster when the temperature was hot (less density of the gasses that make up air).

When it ended, Mac was making fun of the explanation and giggling his butt off.

I think it's an insult to the idea of higher education that such an ignorant dimwit went to Stanford.

klu375
06-10-2012, 09:01 PM
As far back as 2002, before anyone ever heard of Rafa, the talk was about Babolat rackets. Babolat was very aggressive in their campaign in North America, giving average ranked players 2 rackets, a bag and some strings for $200 if I remember correctly. Word got around and a fair bit of guys switched or at least gave the rackets a demo. By the time Rafa won Roland Garros in 2005, Babolat was already pretty well established in the US and worldwide.

They also went pretty aggressively after tennis clubs with large junior programs. Babolat rackets had a special cachet because they were not available in the big box stores so the perception was that these rackets were for "special" players. They also had a variety of lighter rackets. I remember following this "logic" with my junior - first PD junior 26.5", then Pure Control Team MP. Head actually had much more easily attainable ranking requirements for partial sponsorship but their rackets were not "sexy" enough.

You Can't Be Serious
06-10-2012, 09:24 PM
If they still used wood rackets today I might still be playing the main draw instead of these legend matches !

Virtua Tennis
06-10-2012, 10:24 PM
Roddick was the player that put Babolat racquets on the map. As far as I can see no other player has their name on a babolat racquet that is sold in stores.




PS. don't go posting pictures of nadals name on the aero pro drive. When you know you can't buy that racquet in stores to prove me wrong.

classic tennis
06-11-2012, 04:04 AM
Babolat at the French Open in 1995 had hundreds of prototype frames that they were giving to their string contract players, Moya made the racquet legit with the guy's but the first ones were absolute dogs.

Rabbit
06-11-2012, 05:43 AM
McEnroe's just ****ed at Babolat because they won't give him free gut.

the green god
06-11-2012, 05:51 AM
You guys have to think past the U.S. borders. I don't think he was the driving force on the rest of the planet in increasing Babolat market share.

tennis_balla
06-11-2012, 06:00 AM
You guys have to think past the U.S. borders. I don't think he was the driving force on the rest of the planet in increasing Babolat market share.

Babolat released rackets first for the European market in the mid 90's, then in Japan shortly after. In '99/'00 they were set to break into the North American market. Like I mentioned before this is where Roddick for them played a key role. Any company, regardless of what they are selling/offering, will tell you breaking into the US market is crucial for success.

chrischris
06-11-2012, 06:03 AM
Roddique and Moya

True . Mcenroe is a bit old.
He tends to say time and time again , 'guys are bigger now , lifting weights' .. that talk puts me to sleep .. i think its much more a case of running better and faster with balance and better cardio drills and high energy bursts than 'pumping iron'..yawn.

fundrazer
06-11-2012, 06:03 AM
Eh, JMac has been spouting nonsense the whole French Open. Talking about Sloane Stephens making the final or Nadal being the best volleyer of the top guys. There's probably a lot more that's just too stupid for me to remember.

tennis_balla
06-11-2012, 06:07 AM
Actually, he is most likely correct about Nadal's volleys....

chrischris
06-11-2012, 06:10 AM
Eh, JMac has been spouting nonsense the whole French Open. Talking about Sloane Stephens making the final or Nadal being the best volleyer of the top guys. There's probably a lot more that's just too stupid for me to remember.

I think he still has a NYC provocative kind of communication , like to stir the pot somewhat.

I recall years back when he spoke of Younes El Aynauoi in very childish fashion. Not that i was a fan of El A. but still the standard was silly.

pds999
06-11-2012, 06:24 AM
Actually, he is most likely correct about Nadal's volleys....

Not sure. Nadal is a very competent vollyer and doesn't miss many and his technique is very sound. But he doesn't quite have the hands to be called a great vollyer IMO.

ae695
06-11-2012, 10:55 AM
The reason Nadal uses Babolat is Carlos Moya which was his mentor/idol...
Moya put Babolat rackets on the map, the rest is history.

Agreed 100%. Noothing but the truth

Praetorian
06-11-2012, 03:09 PM
Roger would win a slam if he switched to Babolat. Too stubborn though.

I'd agree if Federer's game was based on topspin, and ball bashing. But it isn't.

Drrjjj
06-13-2012, 07:43 PM
Pure drive was made popular by people like roddick and clijsters but rafa helped explode the sales of the aero pro drive specifically

NetNinja68
06-14-2012, 07:17 AM
And Clijsters among others.......I took Macs point to be that Babolat racquet business really exploded with the emergence of Nadal, which is true. Yes of course they have been making racquets since 1994, but Babolat had a relatively small piece of the pie until Nadal.

Absolutely correct! It's all cyclical. If Nadal played with Prince, every kid in America would be sporting a Prince racquet. Babolat is eternally indebted to Nadal and what he has done for their company and btw, I'm not even a Nadal fan.

Harry_Wild
06-18-2012, 12:42 AM
Carlos Moya was one that started Babolat rolling in the mass market and Andy Roddick did it for them in the U.S. But it was Nadal that got them noticed worldwide!

stringertom
06-18-2012, 05:51 AM
Roger would win a slam if he switched to Yonex...no more ******** shanks. Too stubborn though.

Fixed that for you, Pope!

DRII
06-18-2012, 08:42 AM
No doubt Nadal is a better player than roddick could ever dream of becoming but roddick absolutely did far more for the brand than nadal.....before nadal won his first french open babolat was already a huge brand thanks to roddick and the pure drive

Yea...

by my experience I would agree with this. So many pure drives all over the place (at least in the states)!

But what about Europe?

TennisCJC
06-21-2012, 01:25 PM
Not sure. Nadal is a very competent vollyer and doesn't miss many and his technique is very sound. But he doesn't quite have the hands to be called a great vollyer IMO.

Let's have a tourney where it is mandatory that you play S&V behind all first serves and optional on 2nd serves on a fast US Open court. Nadal would not make the semi's. Federer has a lot more skill at the net and for that matter, players like Llorda and other guys who play lots of doubles could out volley Nadal.

McEnroe definately likes to stir the pot.

Nadal is a competent volley-ier but not in same league as really good volley-iers like Fed, Sampras, Edberg, McEnroe, Llorda, Nestor, Bryan brothers...

Also, Babolat was the number 1 racket in US when Roddick used it while Nadal was just starting on tour. Roddick caused the US Babolat explosion and Nadal expanded it.

RF20Lennon
06-21-2012, 02:07 PM
Did anyone else hear John McEnroe say the other day that before Nadal started using Babolat racquets, Babolat had no racquet business? He made it sound as if it was mainly due to Nadal's popularity that Babolat had FINALLY become a serious company.

I realize that McEnroe and Gimelstob are hired as commentators more for their ability to talk non-stop for hours, rather than because they are ever correct or even insightful about anything, but this is ridiculous.

Just for the record:

+ Babolat been in the tennis business since 1874.
+ Babolat strings were by far the most popular strings on the tour before the introduction of Luxilon strings.
+ A lot of players still use Babolat strings, both natural gut and polyester.
+ Babolat has been designing and manufacturing industry-leading stringing machines for decades.
+ Babolat start making racquets in 1994.
+ These racquets started catching on immediately thanks to players such as Andy Roddick and Carlos Moya (emphasis on Roddick, though).

OH please!! if it werent for nadal babolat wouldnt even be half as popular as it is now

RF20Lennon
06-21-2012, 02:08 PM
Roger would win a slam if he switched to Babolat. Too stubborn though.

He has a LIFETIME contract with wilson! how would he switch???

coolhandluke
06-25-2012, 06:20 PM
+1, when my son was playing junior tourneys back in 05, PD was the default stick of choice out there.

Rafa has since taken them higher sales wise, but Moya started it all and ARod popularity was a massive boost here in the states.

You r right! Moya put them on the map! i remember when roddick was a junior coached by that French player (bennedbles sp) and I was so shocked that a US player was coached by a french player and using a french racquet. I grew up using VS string!

TheRed
06-25-2012, 09:26 PM
Let's have a tourney where it is mandatory that you play S&V behind all first serves and optional on 2nd serves on a fast US Open court. Nadal would not make the semi's. Federer has a lot more skill at the net and for that matter, players like Llorda and other guys who play lots of doubles could out volley Nadal.

McEnroe definately likes to stir the pot.

Nadal is a competent volley-ier but not in same league as really good volley-iers like Fed, Sampras, Edberg, McEnroe, Llorda, Nestor, Bryan brothers...

Also, Babolat was the number 1 racket in US when Roddick used it while Nadal was just starting on tour. Roddick caused the US Babolat explosion and Nadal expanded it.

I almost agreed with your opinion until you put Fed in the same group as Mac, sampras and edberg. First, those other guys are light years ahead of Fed in volleying. Second, while Nadal wouldn't do as well as Fed in your imaginary scenario, your scenario is not just about volleying. It includes a serve. Fed would do much better in part because his serve is much better. I do think he's better at moving forward.
I'm not trying to be condescending but let me ask you, do you serve and volleying much? Do you consider yourself a volleyer?
I ask because volleying involves much more than the physical part of how good your volleys look and how much pop you can put on it. It also involves knowing when, where and how to come in. In this department, Nadal is MUCH better than Fed. Yes, I know ppl say Nadal simply doesn't come in. I agree that he doesn't come in as much as a true serve and volleyer but he does know where to stand, how to come in, how to cut off angles and the biggie...he rarely overhits a volley. That means, if a volley requires a hard punch he does that. If the shot only requires a bit of depth, Nadal won't go for too much.
Federer frequently hits the wrong shot. He goes for a short angled dropper when he simply needed to get it crosscourt. Sometimes he plays it too safe. And the worst part, especially when he plays Djokovic or Nadal, is when things get tight, he frequently just hits a shot in the middle or something w/o conviction in the middle of a neutral rally and runs in after it, as if he's now "attacking" like he should. Of course he gets killed. Occasionally he wins it but does he "know" how to volley? No. If he once had it, he no longer has the instinct of a volleyer.

baseline_monster
07-02-2012, 08:02 AM
Roddick and clijsters took babolat to the next level. Babolat was took the big step before rafa went huge

okdude1992
07-02-2012, 01:52 PM
Even the idea that their racquets really took off because of Nadal is false. Babolat's racquet line exploded thanks to Andy Roddick in 2001/2002. I think Roddick did WAY more for the brand than Nadal. You still can't go to any level of tennis tournament without seeing close to 200 Pure Drives.

babolat was just fine before they started making rackets. and when they did, Moya winning the French put them on the map. then when roddick won the USO, hit the serve record, became number 1 ect, there sales with the pd really shot off. there is a reason babolat gave roddick a signature stick.
(rafa coming along certainly helped babolat also, but its not like he made them)

okdude1992
07-02-2012, 01:57 PM
Let's have a tourney where it is mandatory that you play S&V behind all first serves and optional on 2nd serves on a fast US Open court. Nadal would not make the semi's. Federer has a lot more skill at the net and for that matter, players like Llorda and other guys who play lots of doubles could out volley Nadal.

McEnroe definately likes to stir the pot.

Nadal is a competent volley-ier but not in same league as really good volley-iers like Fed, Sampras, Edberg, McEnroe, Llorda, Nestor, Bryan brothers...

Also, Babolat was the number 1 racket in US when Roddick used it while Nadal was just starting on tour. Roddick caused the US Babolat explosion and Nadal expanded it.
wow, why does this keep coming up?! federer is not a good volleyer period. he frequently misses easy shots at net, and comes in at the wrong time. yes he has the tools to volley well, but he doesn't. fact is this generation of players is pretty inept at net

edit: i realize that he once s&vd more, and more successfully. but thats not how he won his slams

West Coast Ace
07-03-2012, 05:50 PM
Rafa has since taken them higher sales wise, but Moya started it all and ARod popularity was a massive boost here in the states.Could have ended the thread here - the truth.

Not sure. Nadal is a very competent vollyer and doesn't miss many and his technique is very sound. But he doesn't quite have the hands to be called a great vollyer IMO.+1. Nadal knows his limitations and doesn't come in on anything difficult (e.g. chip and charge) - he's usually coming in when his opponent is hitting up or from a very defensive position. His speed which gets him very tight to the net is a huge advantage too so he can drop them or angle them off. Can't say I remember many volleys he really punched through the court like the great volleyers.

brinkeguthrie
07-03-2012, 07:25 PM
Carlos Moya was one that started Babolat rolling in the mass market and Andy Roddick did it for them in the U.S. But it was Nadal that got them noticed worldwide!

Moya got em rolling in the mass market?

Who's ever bought a frame cause of Carlos Moya? Outside of S. America.

heftylefty
07-03-2012, 07:30 PM
Moya got em rolling in the mass market?

Who's ever bought a frame cause of Carlos Moya? Outside of S. America.

Moya is from Spain. And Babolat is a French Company. So I'm will venture to say some Babolat where sold outside of S. America.

Setmatch45
07-05-2012, 09:03 AM
I think they gave tons of contracts for atleast free racquets and string to tons of juniors up and coming. It seemed like everyone was using them for a bit. Than once the contracts were up many left and what was really left was Andy R, Nadal and Kim C. I also thing that Moya used them and he is a former number 1.

brinkeguthrie
07-05-2012, 09:47 AM
wherever is is from- sorry - Moya would never move product. Not a soul in the US would know who he was outside of hardcore fans, that's my point.