View Full Version : nike racquets?

03-02-2004, 05:32 PM
ok, nike is the king of sporting goods. i mean, they make every thing. they make clothes for every sport, and equipment for many of them. for instance, nike makes baseball and softball bats. they make footballs, volleyballs, basketballs, golf clubs, and golf balls. many top players play with nike gear. their presence is obviously strong in tennis. why dont they make any equipment? i think nike racquets and balls would be cool. if they were good, would you guys buy them?

03-02-2004, 07:45 PM
It takes careful planning before entering a new business segment. The tennis racquet market is dominated by a few big players and a few smaller ones, it would be extremely difficult for Nike to penetrate the market and make any kind of splash. Nike is not tennis racquets to me, and I suspect they could never overcome that in my mind, and many other people's minds. I think it would be stupid for them to try and I wouldn't buy the racquets unless there wasn't any other offering out there that even came close.

03-02-2004, 09:12 PM
Awright, you beat me to it. THe profit margins must be really thin to enter the racquet market. That's why they're always trying to market the latest and greatest thing.

03-02-2004, 11:32 PM
i do not think nike tennis racquets are completely out of the question. a few years ago nike did not make golf clubs and they do now because they got just one high profile player (tiger woods) to use them. if nike wanted to get into the racquet business they would just need one or two big names in the game to switch to a nike racquet and the resulting hype would have many people at local clubs and stuff wanting to at least try the product. most of you must admit that if they saw some pros with a nike logo on thier racquet they would at least want to TRY it out, and if nike ended up actually making a good racquet, it could sell. it is not like they are some no name company, nike is a huge company and the name alone would lead people to try the racquets if they made them. i have often wondered why they haven't made any racquets, it seems as if they make everything else. i don't think it would be that bad of an idea for them to try, a few more racquets on the market couldn't hurt, the more the better i say.

03-02-2004, 11:36 PM
I agree. I bet if Agassi, Roddick, Federer, Safin, Ferrero, and Hewitt all switched to Nike brand racquets, more than half the people on this board will definitely at least want to try it.

I mean, five years ago, how many people even heard of Babolat racquets? Most people only knew of them as a string company, if at all. Then they got Moya, a new kid named Roddick, and an up and comer named Clijsters to use their racquets and then BOOM!!! The Babolat big bang explosion begins! All of a sudden half of the college players, a huge number of pros, and every club player seems to be swinging a racquet with two white horizontal stripes. :cry:

03-03-2004, 12:46 AM
Forget about stupid, insignificant tennis racquets. Nike has set their sights infinitely higher than this in their neverending effort to assert their World Dominance. They've already expanded well beyond the realm of sport - and ridiculousness - branding sunglasses, school binders, and other play toys, with their trademark Status Swoosh. Soon, they will make their boldest leap ever, and introduce Nike Mommy and Daddy. That's right - since Nike obviously possesses a far greater influence over children than do their parents, the Nike executives have decided that Nike may as well BE their parents.

Production on prototype Nike Mommies has already begun, with the blueprints for Nike Daddies slated to come to fruition some time in June.

Also in the works - for Summer, 2006 - are Nike Siblings and Nike Pets.

03-03-2004, 03:57 AM
Correct me If Im wrong, but I remember something about Nike buying Rossignol a few years ago with the possibility of getting into tennis and ski-ing. At that time adidas bought into salomon. Not being a skier myself, do Rossignol still exist in the ski-ing world.
Maybe Nike are working on rqts is secret, and mybe they'll have the inverted throat?
Maybe they'll also sing up Agassi for the last few years of his playing career?

03-03-2004, 04:15 AM
Veterans of the "old" board will remember many similar strands. Nike is, without equal, the sporting marketing wizard. They make you believe that using their gear gives you the edge, regardless of what sport you play. I, like many, am suckered by this. I do not use a piece of sporting equipment that is not Nike - sad, but true. But hey, it's good stuff. They have turned a sceptical golfing public into fanatics by securing Tiger Woods. Do not believe they won't do the same in tennis at some point. The key attack point is not racquets, but balls. They are disposable, cheap to make, high margin and seen as game improvement (power, spin, control, clay, hard, astro, rebound ace etc). Sticks will follow, branded by Fed or Safin or somesuch ... I never thought I'd play with Nike clubs, but now find myself demoing a set - life has a habit of mirroring reality .....

03-03-2004, 06:46 AM
I heard that they actually were planning on making rackets, but then they got into Golf and signed Tiger and the rest is history. By the way, there is almost zero profit margin on balls, so I doubt they would get into that. I mean, they've been the same price for the past 30 years. Tennis players will buy a $35,000 SUV, but they still drive to Target or Wal-Mart to find balls for $2.19 a can.

Kevin T
03-03-2004, 07:08 AM
Yeah, this topic was an issue of contention more than once on the old boards. Mike Yellen, former pro racquetball player and Ektelon racquetball employee, stated on a Rball message board that Ektelon and Nike were in serious talks. Not sure if it went through or not but he hinted that it was pretty much a done deal. Ektelon and Prince are pretty much one and the same, though I am not sure if they are still under the same ownership or not. So, if this is true, it would make sense that Prince would be Nike's target brand to take over. Myself, I have never been a Nike fan because their shoes don't fit my feet well and I don't like their clothing styles but there is pretty much no debate that they make the best basketball shoes, in terms of performance and style for the masses. If the tennis racquet business is profitable, they will enter it and will do well. They make some really good golf irons and baseball bats. There is really no reason they cannot become an all-inclusive brand. Mizuno makes anything you can think of for just about any sport, they just lack the marketing and distribution prowess of the Swoosh. And by the way, Rossignol is still one of the biggest and best names in skiing and snowboarding, at least here in North America.

03-03-2004, 07:43 AM
It takes more than just signing a big name player. Here in England and Europe, football(soccer) is real big and Nike have been in the market for many years but they haven't gained the market share they were perhaps expecting. Adidas, Umbro and other more established brands in football still have the bigger market share. Adidas is still bigger in football despite Nike having many of the european based brazillian players wearing their boots.

03-03-2004, 07:44 AM
I think it would be sweet if Nike made sticks.

Nike racquet + Federer using it = world domination.

03-03-2004, 07:52 AM
No matter how big a company is, they can't just march in and take market share from companies whose names are synonymous with whatever industry they are in, unless there is an opening that is just not being filled by the current players, which could have been the case in golf.

Craig Sheppard
03-03-2004, 07:59 AM
Alan, I also think golfers are even more insane than tennis players, by hoping equipment will solve their problems. Nike comes out with new awesome clubs, and golfers think that they'll cut a few strokes, just like tennis players who think a new racquet will make them serve like Sampras.


Kevin T
03-03-2004, 08:10 AM
If they march in with a big name AND Quality products, they can come in and take market share. They marched right in and took Tiger from Titleist, without a doubt one of the most prestigious names in golf. Titleist still dominates the ball market but Nike balls have been much more popular than Calloway balls, another market dominator. Nike hockey products are of suspect quality, according to some players I know, but they came in and knocked a few well-established companies out of the game. Remember when Russell, Champion, Wilson, Starter made the game jerseys of the NFL and NBA? Not anymore. Nike, Adidas and Reebok ran them out of the business, with Reebok now being the official supplier to the NFL and NBA. You don't see many Franklin batting gloves these days, either. When I was a kid, you had to have a Franklin batting glove. They were just as important as wearing socks. Converse was THE basketball shoe in the late 70's and early 80's and now they produce 1 premium model that nobody wears. They also used to dominate the college team sponsorship arena but the Swoosh took that away as well. Think what you will of Nike's business practices but they know how to market. Sign the big names and the big teams and the kids will follow. The kids will get their parents to buy the Nike gear they associate with their favorite player or team. The kids become adults and the cycle continues. I'm not saying it's right but it is the reality. Reebok and Adidas do the same things on a slightly smaller scale. If they were as big as Nike, they would do it as well. From shelf space alone, it's easy to see that in North America, Nike has made huge in-roads into soccer. Just give it a few years, Europe. They know what they are doing.

Air Sampras
03-03-2004, 08:57 AM
Derek Jeter got his own shoe made by Nike, the Jumpman DJ. It would be great if Nike came out with the Sampras 14 or something like that. Something besides the Air Oscillates, even though those are excellent shoes. Maybe more colors and a different design; I wonder if they would be a good seller.

03-03-2004, 10:41 AM
It's a matter of volume and margins. I think the margins are there w. tennis, but the volume isnt nearly enough to support Nike getting into the tennis raq business..Notice how they waited until golf got hugely popular before entering into the fray? No question they would be a presence if they had racquets w. the swoosh, but the volume just isnt there to support it...it's insignificant to Nike and tennis isnt growing.

Gaines Hillix
03-03-2004, 11:14 AM
I personally hope Nike doesn't get into selling racquets. AFAIK, they don't make any of their products and they use mostly 3rd world manufacturers that have been known to use children under 10 yrs. old in their factories. Then they charge huge markups to cover Labron James' $90,000,000 contract. Get the picture?

03-03-2004, 12:10 PM
Gaines I really dont think many companies actually make their own racquets anymore. My Volkls are made in China..ditto for Wilson and many others. And I am betting there are no more than 2 or 3 factories in China making the racquets (none of which are owned by Volkl or Wilson).. because the Chinese dont allow that as a rule. Volkl racquets may very well come from the same independent factory as the Wilsons but they insist on better build quality, use more graphite, have tighter controls, and have more engineering built into their frames. I know this is true of many other consumer products I have been involved with anyway. something i once heard while talking to a chinese company about making a product. "Would you like this product to actually work?". lol They'll make whatever you want them to at pretty much whatever price you want depending how good you want them to make it. Some companies put it into the product like volkl and fischer, and others put it into marketing and infrastructure like head and wilson IMO. regards. Ed

03-03-2004, 01:07 PM
Adidas use to make tennis racquets (or at least Adidas branded racquets). Do they still make racquets? Not that I know of. Other than Lendl (and maybe Nastase?), they never got much traction with the pros. Perhaps that's why they were never very popular (at least in the U.S.). Were they even marketed in the U.S.? I don't recall ever seeing them in the pro shops.

Anyway, if Adidas could do it, why can't Nike do it? Remember, this is the "Just Do It" company (of course, except when it comes to running their own business).

Perhaps Nike has studied Adidas' failure in the tennis racquet business and that's why they've shunned it so far. I guess not that many general sporting goods companies have been successful in the tennis racquet business (e.g., Spalding, Rawlings, etc.) with the exception of Wilson and maybe Dunlop. In any case, I still think of Nike as more of a sports apparel and footwear company than a sports equipment company.

03-03-2004, 01:44 PM
I think the Adidas racquets were actually Kneissl frames or at least they were manufactured by Kneissl. I have two of the Adidas sticks that Edberg played with before he switched to Wilson. Well-made if a little archaic.

03-03-2004, 02:17 PM
Rossignol still makes skies like they have been. But nike did start to make some skate shoes. Being a skater myself, I really don't think they are gonna do all that well, and half of their skate shoes look like Nike's crazy basketball shoes. They are definitly trying to get into that market.

03-03-2004, 05:10 PM
Nike needs a figure head in order to launch a campaign for tennis racquets and tennis balls that is a nation wide symbol. For example, Nike was not very common, if found at all, in golf until they rallied behind the signing of Tiger Woods. There's no young American that is going to be heralded in tennis as Tiger Woods was in golf through amateur and into professional tennis. Everyone knows who Tiger Woods is; the closest thing that tennis has to that is Andy Roddick (ewe... sad, but true) and he is not widely known and any argument that he is is because of his popularity with teenage girls and not his tennis game. Anna Kournikova could have possibly carried a movement like this because at the start of her run she was known for both her tennis skills and her looks... yeah... that didn't work out so well... Anyway, not many people on these boards are going to buy much Nike tennis equipment. All of us have our biases on balls, strings, frames, overgrips, vibration dampeners... everything. That's what we are as tennis players; people who believe religiously in their equipment. Nike would have the opportunity to gain support by younger kids because of the name familiarity and the lack of previous experiences with tennis. This would definitely not create the boom that Nike looks for although it might pay off 25 years down the road.

03-03-2004, 05:29 PM
I agree with UCD Ace. In tennis, our stars rarely have enough impact to carry a company into popularity with the sport's loyalists. One of the best times for this to happen would be in the 70's in America, when tennis was at the height of its popularity. People like Johnny Mac were widely known not just in the tennis circles of the country. Tennis was huge. As a side note, man do I hate golf.

Gaines Hillix
03-04-2004, 09:54 AM
Ed, I agree, most manufacturers don't make their own racquets. The point I was trying to make is related to Nike's business practices. On one end, they exploit the workers who make their products and on the other end, they exploit their customers by grossly overcharging them to pay their marketing costs. Just my $.02 .

03-04-2004, 10:40 AM
me thinks it's the american business model gaines.....it's unfortunate, but i agree w. you...but at least we still have choices,.....i wont wear anything w. the swoosh..not that adidas isnt an offender too....what are we to do, make our own clothes??:)...ed

11-08-2004, 11:43 AM
it serious is not that big of a deal if nike wants a bite out of the tennis market. All it has to do is pay players money, make them use nike paintjobs on their racquets and it would be set.

11-08-2004, 05:41 PM
May be Federer is using his own custom racquet mold because he is paving his path to sign with NIKE when his racquet contract is up with Wilson!! (Check Ferrero, he is with Head now and he is going through the phase of adjusting from a Prince rac to a Head rac)

11-08-2004, 10:04 PM
There would be conflict, because Nike would want their sponsored players to use their racquets, and the racquet companies would not want to let the players.