Lawsuit Against Wilson For Falsely Claiming Fed Uses Current 90

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by asifallasleep, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. degrease

    degrease Rookie

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    Agassi said in his book that donnay paintjobbed his old prince racket
     
    #51
  2. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Umm.......no.
     
    #52
  3. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    I'm going to round off the % of the public who care about paintjobs: 0.
     
    #53
  4. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    You're a marketing genius!

    You need to immediately contact Wilson, Head, and Babolat and explain to them that they're wasting millions of dollars on celebrity endorsements since, in your view, consumers are in no way effecting by these products being associated with the biggest pros.

    Just think, if you charge the manufacturers just 15% of their savings, you can quit your day job immediately!

    While you're at, you can save many different industries millions of dollars with your brilliant "celebrity free" marketing approach. All of those car companies and oil companies don't need to pay famous NASCAR drivers millions in endorsement fees. Same goes for golf! Say goodbye to Tiger Woods endorsements!

    Ya know, I've envious that I didn't think of this first.

    A slow clap for you, my marketing hero.

    BTW...maybe you could also land a gig at the country's biggest business schools.
     
    #54
  5. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Looks like my point went completely over your head. :(

    Wilson's marketing entices people to buy Wilson racquets. Therefore, Wilson sells more racquets by advertising and paying pros to promote their racquets. However, how does what racquet Federer actually uses to play tennis have any effect on YOUR life whether you buy a Wilson racquet or not? Whether Federer wins or loses with his Wilson racquet has absolutely no effect on whether YOU win or lose with your Wilson racquet. There is no cause and effect that can be shown or proven. Unlike suing a toaster manufacturer because its toaster caught fire and burned down your house. In that case, there IS cause and effect.
     
    #55
  6. BLX_Andy

    BLX_Andy Professional

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    What if all players just play with blacked-out frames? :confused:

    We wouldn't have to deal with frivolous cases like this (in my opinion).
     
    #56
  7. chjtennis

    chjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I think the most dangerous part for the manufacturers is that they actually advertise certain racquets as the choice of certain pros. For example, Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 90 BLX is advertised as the racquet of choice for Roger Federer. If Federer doesn't use it, that becomes a lie and they can be sued for fraud, I think. Customers may argue that they could've bought much easier racquet to use but the advertisement swayed them into buying PS90BLX, then I think Wilson may have to deal a lot of compensation to their customers. Same goes for all other manufacturers.
     
    #57
  8. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    How is anyone seriously still trying to defend PJs and the deceptive advertising practices companies use?

    Seriously guys - come on. It's misleading and deceptive and intentional -- and you know it is.

    And the NASCAR analogy is totally ludicrous. Not the same at all. Not even close -- so you can stop throwing that one out there. The only way it would be similar was if Toyota advertised that you could buy the exact Kyle Busch race car - and then when you bought it it turned out to be a just a regular Camry with stickers on it.

    Now I know some guys like to feel superior that they "are in the know" when it comes to pro stock PJs etc -- but the bottom line is that it is intentionally deceptive practices to lure the consumer into purchasing a specific racquet because such and such professional uses that same exact one.

    This is very different from endorsement advertising where someone - like Fed - is used to sell a product - razors, watches, toilet paper or what have you. This is a company (companies) saying (or at least strongly insinuating which is intentionally deceptive as well) that a consumer can purchase the same exact equipment that a professional uses and that often just isn't the case. It doesn't matter how it would or wouldn't effect the consumer's life or level of play etc. It doesn't matter if the customer would actually play worse with said racquet and should probably play with a different stick for their level etc. The consumer is being told one thing but being sold another. End of story.

    And this isn't really about the Fed stick -- it's about the business practice itself that most of the companies are guilty of.

    Basically all this will do is to just change the language (which is already happening) on how companies market their stuff -- and perhaps -- maybe even have the companies offer some of the pro stock sticks out on the open market directly. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

    But for anyone to keep defending this practice as totally fine is just crazy and a waste of energy.
     
    #58
  9. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The only time I've ever heard a racquet company claim that you could buy the same exact racquet as a pro uses is when Wilson said that the K90 is the same racquet sold in the stores as Federer uses on tour. I've never heard Wilson nor any other racquet company make that claim about any other model or pro.

    Saying such and such racquet is the choice of some pro is NOT the same as saying that the racquet you can buy at retail is the same exact racquet as used by that pro on tour. Except for the case of the K90 and Federer as I mentioned above, the racquet companies are careful not to link the retail version available for sale to consumers with the versions of the model used by their sponsored pros.
     
    #59
  10. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Really? Still? Come on man. You know better than this.

    They have said it directly -- such and such racquet used by so and so...and they have inferred it a lot.

    You know they have.

    And it trickles down to the stores, online and otherwise. Walk into any tennis shop and ask for Roger's stick -- or Rafa's etc -- and what do you get? A lecture about pro stock sticks and pjs -- Rafa actually uses an old stick...

    No. They reach out and hand you a BLX or a Areopro or whatever.

    Example from TW today:

    ----

    Wilson Pro Staff 90 BLX

    "Roger Federer's racquet, the BLX Six.One Pro Staff 90 is designed to offer the advanced player supreme control, feel and stability."


    Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro

    "Novak Djokovic's racquet of choice, the Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro replaces the IG Speed..."


    Babolat AeroPro Drive

    Rafael Nadal's racquet of choice...


    It's deliberately misleading and false and deceptive advertising meant to induce the customer to buy a product.

    Oh and--

    "Saying such and such racquet is the choice of some pro is NOT the same as saying that the racquet you can buy at retail is the same exact racquet as used by that pro on tour"

    Actually that is a matter to be argued in court and to be decided on by a judge or jury etc. That is not cut and dry -- AT ALL -- and can totally put the company in the wrong. If a reasonable person can take such statement to mean that the stick you are buying is the one used by the pro -- then the company is 100% at fault. Companies and advertising have been found guilty of misleading and deceptive ads for much less obvious statements and huge settlements have been awarded and practices changed.

    I really don't care -- I have no dog in this fight -- but don't come out here saying the buyer should know better etc and the companies aren't at fault. No. Total BS. And they are being called on it.

    If you want to keep posting and trying to defend it fine. Go right ahead. I'm done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
    #60
  11. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    The players are just as guilty for giving their names to this sort of crap.

    However, I don't believe it affects the customers too much. People that make their decisions based on this sort of marketing have no idea what they want in a racket and can't tell a string pattern from a string quartet. They pay for the illusion of playing with a champion's racket. That illusion is what makes them feel good about the racket. Do you wanna take away that warm fuzzy feeling?

    What's next? Santa Clause is not real?
     
    #61
  12. officerdibble

    officerdibble Semi-Pro

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    People would still be able to get that feeling from matching graphics or a line of rackets that includes their favourite players. However, it is misrepresentation to claim a player is using a particular technology and that it contributes to his success (as Head claimed with Agassi and Flexpoint). Head even misled their shareholders with that nonsense.

    As for Santa Claus, there is pretty good evidence of his work (in the form of presents, eaten mince pies, etc.); God on the other hand... not a scrap, and lots of people believe that story. However, citing the scale of people's erroneous beliefs and the benefits they ascribe to them as a reason not to contradict the highly implausible or demonstrably untrue is a slippery slope for humanity (and tennis players).
     
    #62
  13. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    We've been on this slippery slope since the beginning of civilization. It's not gonna end any time soon. People believe lies because believing is easy.
     
    #63
  14. chjtennis

    chjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I think this is exactly where the problem lies. A lot of people buy their favourite players' racquets without realising what racquet suits their game most. I think a lot of people in social tennis clubs would just use cheaper racquets if the manufacturers don't advertise their products as equipment of top pros. This is what can be called as misleading customers and take unfair advantage over their ignorance. Also, a lot of people buy extra racquets just because those are supposed to be their favourite players' stick. For example, a lot of people buy Pro Staff series just because Wilson advertise them as Federer's racquet. If they reveal that it is not what Federer actually uses, then the sales of Pro Staff series will drop exponentially, I'm sure on this.
     
    #64
  15. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ One could say in fact that the manufacturers may be doing the consumer a favor with paint jobs. Imagine if all the Andy Murray fans bought the actual racquet of their hero and then had to play with something with a swingweight of 380.
     
    #65
  16. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    No, no, no!!!!!! What we are all talking about is mold and lay-up. Not what he has his racquets customized to for weight, balance , and swing weight.
     
    #66
  17. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ don't be so concrete!
     
    #67
  18. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But then you'll have customers complain that the racquet they bought doesn't have the same weight, balance, and swingweight as the racquet their favorite pro plays with on tour.

    What most consumers really want is to look like they are playing with the same racquet as their favorite pro, and with paintjobs, they get that. Just like many people buy Nike RF clothing because they want to look like Federer on the court. The fact that the clothes may not be exactly the same as the actual ones that Federer wears does not bother them. It's the same with racquets. They'd rather have a racquet they can actually play with than a racquet that they can't handle because it's pro spec.
     
    #68
  19. mpournaras

    mpournaras Semi-Pro

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    Can I just throw this in there?....

    Who gives a crap?

    Grab some lead, demo some rackets, and keep your silly legal battles away from racket manufacturers.
     
    #69
  20. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    If they are that into how a Pro has their racquet customized then they take the racquet and have it customized to that Pro's weight, balance, and swing weight. All Pro's have their racquets customized in some way either having lead, silicone, a custom handle, or all of the above.
    But paint jobs are taking one model of racquet and having it painted to look like another model for the purposes of marketing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
    #70
  21. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    The old PSC classic pj on the PS 85 now that was the bomb!!
     
    #71
  22. chjtennis

    chjtennis Hall of Fame

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    Well, so many recreational players don't know much about the technical side of tennis and gears, and they just believe when advertisements say this is Federer's Racquet, this is Nadal's racquet, this is Djokovic's racquet, etc. They buy them even if they already have a racquet they use just because they are led to believe these players actually use the same racquet. As vsbabolat said, the important thing is people want to own the exact same version of racquet that come out of the factory, from the same mold. We are not talking about customization here. These people spend money they wouldn't otherwise spend and that's where the problem lies. Manufacturers simply take advantage of naivety to gain unfair profit. I think that can actually be an issue.
     
    #72
  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But the fact of the matter is, the great majority of consumers do not really want the exact racquet that some pro plays with nor do they really care. They just want a racquet that LOOKS like the one that their favorite pro plays with so that other people will think they are using the same racquet as the pro. It's the same with clothes. Most consumers don't even know how to use lead tape nor have they ever heard of injecting silicone inside of handles.
     
    #73
  24. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    I disagree completely!
     
    #74
  25. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Psh, what do you know about tennis players? :roll: ;)
     
    #75
  26. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You forget that we are a very small minority. 99.99% of tennis players do not read nor post in this "Pros' Racquets and Gear" forum. They couldn't care less exactly what racquet some pro plays with. They just want a racquet that LOOKS the same as the racquet a pro plays with. They DON'T want a 13 oz. racquet with a 380 swingweight. They want a racquet they can actually play tennis with. They don't know a PT57A from a PT Cruiser. :)
     
    #76
  27. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Again I'm talking about layup and MOLD. Not customization. I think we are speaking two different languages and you have no understanding.
     
    #77
  28. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vcore89
    Perhaps it would still sell a ton of more of the same? I mean the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO and the 1973 Lamborgini Countach is still somewhat relevant, yeah?


    Sumo, did you know that one of the 38 1963 Ferrari 250 GTOs (remaining in existence) is owned by someone that lives in Chapel Hill? *

    * useless but kinda interesting info :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
    #78
  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Again, 99.99% of tennis players don't know what a layup nor mold is. They also don't know that the pros customize their racquets. They just want to play and be seen with a racquet that their favorite pro plays with so their friends will think they're cool and "with it". Since they have no idea what a layup nor mold is, they have no idea that their favorite pro may use a different layup and mold than the racquet that they play with. Since they don't know, they don't really care. All they want is a racquet they can play tennis well with and that looks just like the racquet that they see their favorite pro uses on TV. And paintjobs give them exactly that.

    If you ask most tennis players:

    1. Would you rather have a racquet that's exactly the same as a pro's but you can't play well with?

    OR

    2. Would you rather have a racquet that's not exactly the same as a pro's but looks the same and with which you can play very well with?

    I think most recreational tennis players would choose the latter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
    #79
  30. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I think Breakpoint's right on this one... a vast majority of recreational tennis players don't know much about the physics or features of racquets, just what they play with well, what looks good and what looks like the racquet a pro is using. There are plenty of people out there with Speed Pros (as well as Speed MPs) that are happy to say they have the Novak Djokovic racquet. They likely don't know nor care that Novak's real racquet is a different headsize and has a different weight, swingweight, flex rating etc. Same goes for girls that love Vika and use the Juice 100. Now there are people that are going to complain about Federer's racquet being slightly different from the stock one that is sold, but one also has to consider that if you are advanced enough to play best with a PS90 you should likely be more concerned with your own setup, and not what works best for RF...

    Is some of the marketing and technology bogus? yeah. But the companies break monotony with the new models and PJs every few years, and occasionally do innovate as far as creating new frames (such as the Pure Strikes) or new racquet innovations (very open patterns of Wilson S racquets and the new Prince ones.)
     
    #80
  31. Vlad_C

    Vlad_C Semi-Pro

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    Come on BreakPoint, now you're just arguing for the sake of arguing.
    You're a smart guy, so you must know very well you're on the wrong side of things on this one.

    The issue is not what the average person can play with.
    It was about manufacturers deceiving the customers with false claims about the products they sell.

    If they would sell two racquets, one that the pro is using, and the other for the average player, everybody would be ok with that.
    If they would only sell the one for the average player, and they would stop claiming that it is identical to the one used by the pro, that would be fine too.
    But if they sell the one for the average player, and they keep claiming that it is identical to the one used by the pro, that's just lying, and that's what most of us have a problem with.
     
    #81
  32. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    They do care! Every conversation I have with people that find out that the racquets are different are very upset about it. Every single solitary person. I am not suggesting that any racquet company sell a racquets that is how a Pro customizes it like a log. That I am saying (advocating) that the racquets companies should sell the same MOLD and that MOLD have the same layup/composition.
    Let me break down this way for you:
    Player A is sponsored by HEAD and he is the poster boy for the IG Radical Pro. But the reality is he uses the Pro Tour 630 16x19 with the paint job of the IG Radical Pro and he has it customized to 374g, 32cm, and 380 Swingweight. What I'm saying is the HEAD should sell the Pro Tour 630 16x19 but with weight, balance, and swing weight that would be better for a wider audience. It should be somewhere between 11.5 to 12oz STRUNG, 31cm STRUNG, and have a swingweight somewhere in the low 300's.
    So the company would sell the same racquet but with lighter weight and swingwewight for the consumer. Also then that would make it somewhat customizable for the serious player that has their own desired specs.

    Not what you suggest some racquet being sold in a different mold and different layup/composition that looks similar...
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
    #82
  33. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Vsbabolat, some of the top players use CUSTOM molds though...
     
    #83
  34. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    vsbabolat,

    I think that you have a reasonable proposal there. If companies used the same drill pattern, headsize, etc. that the pro actually uses, people would be able to tolerate weight differences from what's sold at the store. The weight difference is very understandable because most people could never feasibly swing a racquet with the weight and swingweight that Murray or Serena use. Fixing the mold and pattern doesn't seem like it would be a problem for the company though, so they really should do that if they are going to advertise frames as the "same racquet."
     
    #84
  35. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    No they don't. Give me one example.
     
    #85
  36. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Isn't Fed's racquet a custom mold? I read that his specs are classified by P1.
     
    #86
  37. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Do you know the difference between MOLD and layup?
     
    #87
  38. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Mold is basically a hairpin, correct? A desired shape and size?

    A layup is the materials that make up the mold.
     
    #88
  39. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I've read that Fed has weight added to his frames (usually at 11 and 1) and gets a custom p1 handle.
     
    #89
  40. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    As far as I know Fed uses the K6.1 Tour 90 Mold...........
    The layup has been debated widely. There is a nice thread that has Fed's racquets with the retail counterparts. Search for it.
     
    #90
  41. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But that's the point - they've NEVER claimed that the model sold in the stores is "identical" to the one used by the pro. (Except the case of Wilson with the K90 and Federer as I cited above). You will never see the word "identical" in any of their advertising.

    For example, Djokovic uses his version of the Head Speed Pro while a different version of the Head Speed Pro is sold to the public. Head NEVER claimed that the two versions are "identical".
     
    #91
  42. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    K-Factor or K-Blade?

    I already know what thread you are mentioning.
     
    #92
  43. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Fed has been using the his normal 6.1 Tour 90 since those two clay court tournaments after wimbledon. And he was experimenting with the H22. Not a custom mold.
     
    #93
  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I know what you are saying. But do you have any proof that the majority of consumers would play better tennis if they used a Pro Tour 630 than with the more modern IG Radical Pro? No, you don't. The fact is, more consumers would play better tennis with the more modern IG Radical Pro. That's why the Pro Tour 630 was discontinued over 15 years ago, and at the time, stores couldn't give them away. What's suitable for a pro is generally not suitable for the average recreational tennis player. The majority of recreational tennis players would have a hard time using the racquets the pros use, like the PC600 or PS 6.0 85 (when the pros used them).

    Yes, YOU may play better with a Pro Tour 630, but don't forget that you and most of us here in this forum are a tiny, tiny minority of the overall tennis equipment market. The racquet manufacturers wouldn't lose any sleep whatsoever by ignoring us.

    BTW, in most conversations I've had with other tennis players, they have no idea what specific racquet model any of the pros use. They barely know the brand, and that's only from the stencil on the strings, but they don't know what specific model the pros use nor do they care whatsoever. And when you mention "layup" or "mold", they look at you like you're from outer space because they have no idea what the heck you're talking about. So, no, they don't care whatsoever what exact layup or mold some pro is using. They only want a racquet that they can play well with. That's why some of the models that no pros have ever used (like the Head Ti S6 or Prince O3 Red, etc.) are best sellers, and why most people I play with use racquets that no pros use, like Volkls, Fischers, Vantages, etc. and Dunlop, Yonex, Head, Wilson, ProKennex, Slazenger, etc. models that no pros are using (paintjob or otherwise). Like I said before, we racquet geeks here are a tiny, tiny minority that don't amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of the tennis market.
     
    #94
  45. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Yes they did!
     
    #95
  46. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Blake, Haas, Berdych, etc. when they were using a Dunlop.
     
    #96
  47. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Please show us where the word "identical" was used.
     
    #97
  48. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Actually when the Pro Tour 630 was discontinued it was a hot seller with Guga winning the French Open with it! You are re-writing history again. It was the cycle that the marketing department that dictates now when the racquets are discontinued not current sales.
    I have had many conversations and they get it and understand it. The IG Radical Pro has no more performance than the Pro Tour 630. They wont play any better with the Ig Radical Pro over the Pro Tour 630. I guess you are rube that believes the marketing BS.
     
    #98
  49. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I have no idea what racquet Guga used to win the French Open and the great majority of consumers don't either.

    I bought two Pro Tour 280s from Sports Authority in 1997 or 1998. They were in the bargain bin at like 50% off and buy one get one free. I didn't need the racquets but only bought them because they were practically giving them away. Many others here have corroborated that when the PT280/PT630 were discontinued, stores were selling them at next to nothing and still couldn't give them away.

    Yes, the majority of recreational tennis players want the latest and greatest in racquet technology. Whether or not it really exists is irrelevant, what's important is that they think it does. If you asked the average recreational player if they would pay the same price for a racquet with 20 year-old technology as for a racquet with the latest technology, the majority would say no. Heck, most consumers are willing to pay twice the price for the latest new model than for just last year's model, let alone a 20 year-old model. Most consumers and most pros do not want the same thing. Again, we geeks here are a tiny, tiny minority of the tennis market.
     
    #99
  50. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,843
    The part of the country I was in the Pro Tour 280 was a hot seller right up to when it was discountinied. The Premier Tour 600 that replaced the Pro Tour 280 was a very slow seller. It was very close in color to the Pro Tour 280. O think you are confusing the two. I disagree with you 100%. It will be interesting to see how Prince does with their classic line that they came out with. They even are coming out with traditional grommet versions of the exo3 Tour 100 and the Exo3 Rebel 98. There is no BS marketing and the racquets are just 100% graphite and epoxy resins.
     

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