Blake Leaving Prince?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Buckeye10s, May 23, 2007.

  1. Buckeye10s

    Buckeye10s Banned

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    Just got an email from Prince regarding James Blake's racquet...


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

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

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

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

    Best Regards,

    George Napier

    CEO, Prince Sports, Inc.
     
    #1
  2. Heavy Metal Tennis Star

    Heavy Metal Tennis Star Professional

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    james should go back to dunlop or sign with wilson, atleast he wont have to use a blacked out fram anymore, hehe.
     
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  3. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    No, he should go to Yonex. ;) His mold looks a lot like a TF frame, so I wouldn't be surprised if he went there.
     
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  4. TalkingTennis91

    TalkingTennis91 Semi-Pro

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    Why wouldn't he have to used a blacked-out frame if he were to sign with Wilson? To my knowledge, he is not using a Wilson frame :)
     
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  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I think Tecnifibre is the logical choice for Blake. But, of couse, it comes down to money and how mcuh TF is willing to pay him.
     
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  6. little_e

    little_e Semi-Pro

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

    Heavy Metal Tennis Star Professional

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

    Dangus Semi-Pro

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    http://www.cnbc.com/id/18828755

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

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

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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

    onkystomper Hall of Fame

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    Why would anyone but Dunlop sign him??? he is clearly unwilling to change frames and who can blame him
     
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  11. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    Apparently, he was embarassed to continue taking Prince's money just for using their bag :)
     
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  12. TennisWooh

    TennisWooh Rookie

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    Wasn't it those holes that made it impossible for him to stick with Prince since you can't fake those with paint. I think he could really just go to anyone he wants now, since he can just keep his current racket and put some company's paint on it. I personally wouldn't go to Dunlop since they screwed him over when he was not in the top of his game.
     
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  13. Buckeye10s

    Buckeye10s Banned

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    I would love to see him using a K Factor. Or at least a K Paint Job!
     
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  14. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

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    Sorry to say something completely off-topic but please read your email T_T
     
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  15. BigBUBBA

    BigBUBBA Semi-Pro

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    Wow.....rather...abrupt
     
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  16. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

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    for sure when TW dropped the "Blake Racket" the hand writing was on the wall. how feeble minded is prince; they use to really make wonderful frames.
     
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  17. jeffreyfranz

    jeffreyfranz Rookie

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    So why couldn't he have just used a conventional type Prince frame, like a Diablo or POG or something they could have developed? :confused:
     
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  18. jeffreyfranz

    jeffreyfranz Rookie

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    What was the "Blake racquet?"
     
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  19. foetz

    foetz Rookie

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    no doubt. james should be endorsed by dunlop and nothing else :D
    anyhow the black frame is quite cool ...
     
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  20. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

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

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    I think it's a win for Dunlop because he is one exciting and charsimatic player alright...

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

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

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

    RedWeb Semi-Pro

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    No Effect

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

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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

    No-one may pick up the frame in the shop because of Blake (but how can you tell me either way whether this happens or not?) but his endorsement certainly is heavyweight out there in tennis-land...
     
    #23
  24. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    He should just sign with Wilson (but I guess if he did that, it would be admitting to what was going on all these years).
     
    #24
  25. Fedal07

    Fedal07 Rookie

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    So is it confirmed he is finished with Prince?
     
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  26. serve/and/volley

    serve/and/volley Rookie

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

    Dangus Semi-Pro

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    Yes. Blake is with Dunlop again.
     
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  28. baseliner87

    baseliner87 Rookie

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    dunlop are overrated, and yes you can apply lead tape to the o3..
     
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  29. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    when did that happen
     
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  30. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Did James really ever switch rackets, wether blacked out or not? I had the feeling he was using a dense patterned Dunlop his whole career.

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

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

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

    Fee Legend

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    He never switched, it was always a Wilson (and that will start an argument, but I know what I was told and I completely believe the person who told me).
     
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  32. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    Read the very first post of this thread.
     
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  33. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    no i meant the resigning with dunlop
     
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  34. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    Read post #8 of this thread (did you read this thread at all?). Normally I charge for 'spoon fed answers' but I'll let you slide this time.
     
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  35. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    sorry misread that one
     
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  36. insiderman

    insiderman Rookie

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

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

    Fee Legend

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    You make a good point, but the person who told me also made a good argument, so I'll just go with what he said (which now that I think about it might actually be very close to what you said since there was something about Dunlop buying the mold. I should have paid better attention but I was a bit dazzled by all the technicalitites). :)
     
    #37
  38. Fedal07

    Fedal07 Rookie

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    What stick do you guys think James will use at the French?
     
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  39. BluDiamond

    BluDiamond Semi-Pro

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    any pics of blake using dunlop now??? is it the microgel pj?
     
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  40. thomas martinez

    thomas martinez Professional

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    No, it was never a Wilson. When he left them, as someone else had said, he did switch to a Dunlop frame. It was based off of the old Revelation Tour Pro 95 which was sold in the Asia Pacific region only. Scott Draper was the only one I know of who used this frame without a different cosmetic(ie 200G). It was the big brother to Flip's old green/black Revelation Tour 90. Now a day, the two closest frames you can buy to what James and Tommy Haas play with, is the Tyger Excel Drive 630 and TF's 320 and 335. And Thomas Johansson doesn't nor ever did use a version of this frame, his is a Revelation Tour Pro 95.
     
    #40
  41. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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

    cc
     
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  42. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    So if he uses a 335 is essence why not sign with tecnifbre?
     
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  44. emcee143

    emcee143 Rookie

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    Money. TF probably wouldn't offer as much compared to, say, Wilson, Head or Prince even. Maybe Dunlop would make the offer. James really should just go back to Dunlop instead of trying to use a new racquet. Why fix what is not broken? I think it would just hinder his game even more if he switched to a different company/frame.
     
    #44
  45. saqdeez

    saqdeez Semi-Pro

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    He needs to stop wearing those stupid cutoffs. He looks like an idiot wearing those.
     
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  46. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    true, but just imagine what he would do for TF
     
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  47. Forehand Forever

    Forehand Forever Professional

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    Wait, James Blake is actually using a Tecnifibre racquet? How random is that.
     
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  48. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    NO. He is using the old dunlop he has always used. TF bought the mold and uses it to make the TF 335. Blake does not use a TF frame.
     
    #48
  49. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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

    D. Nelson Semi-Pro

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    ...well...that's ONE point of view.... I think we're missing an IMPLIED point here....he would be switching to...yes.....IMPROVE !!! And yes, it's QUITE possible that a 'tweaked' racquet (adjusted to his specs; gaining more comfort and efficiency in his swingpath and 'twitch' reactions as 2 examples...) could definitely get him to improve.... Now...IF that did happen...and the racquet company that produced that racquet was (in SOME part!!) responsible....CHII-CHING !!! EVERYbody's happy....!!! :)
     
    #50

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