Lawsuit?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by tennisnewbie09, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. tennisnewbie09

    tennisnewbie09 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    I am not a lawyer, but I've been reading a lot on paintjobs and players representing that they are playing certain rackets. For example, if Nadal, Djokovic, or any players using a paintjob and the racket they are suppose to be playing, but it's not really that racket, isn't that misrepresentation? Isn't that misleading the public to just sell rackets and ultimately, isn't that illegal and grounds for a lawsuit? It's obvious that you can prove that they player is not really playing that specific racket if you check the specs and materials.
     
    #1
  2. Greg Raven

    Greg Raven Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    618
    Location:
    Apple Valley, CA
    No. Technically, the players endorse the brand, not any particular stick. Plus you might not have standing, and you'd have to show that you were somehow harmed.
     
    #2
  3. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    In short, no. The type of lawsuit potential you're suggesting is requires some harm or loss. Establishing this is paramount to the argument and it's simply not possible. Where is the harm/loss in having a frame different?

    Marketing puffery is absolutely commonplace (such as saying "this racquet feels great" - it's a purely subjective comment which no-one with above minimal IQ would take as being a provable fact - if it could even be tested fairly) and is rarely grounds for a complaint.

    That aside, it's pretty obvious for practical reasons, not to mention common knowledge, that sportspeople use customised variants of most items of equipment and/or clothing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
    #3
  4. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    Nike was sued over the Ball Tiger Woods was using.
    Woods does not use ball he promotes, admits sponsor
    By Simon Davis in Los Angeles 12:00AM BST 24 Aug 2000
    NIKE, the sports equipment company, has been forced to concede that Tiger Woods does not use the golf balls he is paid £694,000 a year to endorse.

    After a consumer group filed a lawsuit in a California court, Nike has admitted that amateur golfers could not buy the same balls as their championship-winning hero.

    Woods receives the money to endorse the Nike Tour Accuracy, which has quickly become a best-seller, but he has used a unique and specially modified ball in his recent run of victories in the majors.

    "Tiger Woods does not play the Nike Tour Accuracy golf ball, but plays one with a different composition and performance characteristics specially made for him and not available to the general public," the plaintiffs said in their law suit.

    The Woods-endorsed ball is heavily promoted in television and magazine advertisements. But it has an extra hard shell and inner segment to make it tougher and enable him to hit further. "Those two elements are slightly firmer than the marketed ball," said Mike Kelly, marketing director for Nike Golf.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/1367429/Woods-does-not-use-ball-he-promotes-admits-sponsor.html

    And then because of the lawsuit filed Nike released the ball to the public.:
    Nike to market real Tiger Woods ball

    Sports giants Nike will make the golf ball exclusively used by Tiger Woods available to the public - six months after the threat of a lawsuit.

    The American company admitted in August that the golf balls Woods plays are not the brand he endorses for the company.

    The ball the world number one actually used had a slightly harder inner and outer core than the Tour Accuracy ball sold to the public.

    But Nike is to introduce the Tour Accuracy TW, which will be available later this year.

    And the company plans to let consumers decide which ball they prefer.

    Nike will market a sleeve of balls with two each - the TW and the regular Tour Accuracy - and a dozen-ball set that has two sleeves of each ball.

    No price has yet been released by Nike, though it is expected to be slightly higher than the regular Tour Accuracy ball.


    To me ALL the racquet companies are like Snake Oil Salesmen. I would describe the racquet companies as being disingenuous.
     
    #4
  5. cnr1guy

    cnr1guy Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    254
    (1) you can't prove they aren't using their racquets they say they are and (2) the companies can simply say the pros are using "modified" versions of the racquets they endorse.

    Nice try anyway.
     
    #5
  6. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,007
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    What's the big deal? Michael Jackson admitted that he never drank Pepsi, but they paid him several boatloads of money anyway. As long as there has been advertising, there has been deceptive advertising.
     
    #6
  7. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,467
    Given that there was a harm/loss suffered by the consumer, I guess one could make a claim that the racquet companies are producing implicitly false advertisments.

    They use statements such as "player ABC uses this racquet, this is ABC's signature racquet, this is ABC's official racquet, etc.", which in the context of professional tennis players, logically implies that player ABC uses this racquet as a main tool to make a living (play in tournaments).

    So if the racquet used by the player is different than advertised, the advertisement would be implicitly false.

    One could also argue that the racquet companies failed to disclose that the racquets were "modified", but the court will decide whether this is sufficiently material to constitute false advertisement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
    #7
  8. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    The difference is in the marketing he said it was the ball he used - which was incorrect.

    Racquet manufacturers usually don't make the association so clear-cut. They have a picture of the player - as they also do on children's racquets - but I don't often see them doing marketing which say: X player uses this racquet.

    Online shops, such as tennis warehouse, often associate players with particular frames but that's not the brand's doing and I guess could see them accused of misleading marketing practices in some cases.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #8
  9. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    What harm or loss? Willy nilly interpretations don't count here, only the long established legal concept (which does vary country to country but, those based loosely on the English legal system will be similar)

    They do? Not many adverts say it as clearly as e.g.: Roger Federer uses the Wilson BLX Tour? Etc.. You'd be surprised how sneaky they are - they build an association by implication but often without saying it outright. I just watched a couple of their youtube ads (eg here) and they don't say he uses the frame they're marketing.

    Grant, the Wilson website does come quite close in saying "The choice of the greatest ever, Roger Federer, the Six.One Tour BLX features a unique enhanced feel...". But I'm still not sure that is a definitive call still. They will just say he uses a modified version, which he technically does depending how you look at it, and that'd be the end of it. If you knew how there's nothing stopping you modifying yours to be the same. (I'm sure many more people would take issue with Wilson claiming he's "the greatest ever" than the specs of his frame :p)

    The signature part is irrelevant. Thousands of brands create signature models - the terms means nothing in a legal sense, it's nothing more than a marketing snare.

    Since it's common knowledge that players customise frames it would certainly be hard to convince someone that there was significant enough deception, with a resulting loss or harm, to warrant legal remedy. Americans are famously and historically litigious over the most inane or petty things but even that has tired the legal system a little too much in recent years.
    For sure. But they will decide that it isn't unless the advertising actually says X uses this model frame - which they generally don't. An associated endorsement doesn't establish or constitute a promise of identicalness and, using a 'reasonable person' test, a complaint along those lines would likely fail.

    As I said above, I see racquets for kids with Sampras and Federer plastered over them. I don't assume anything by it other than a marketing effort.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #9
  10. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    HEAD, Wilson, Prince, and the rest of the major brands do the same thing as what Nike did with Tiger Woods. They have used advertisements claiming player "x" uses racquet "y". When that is not true.

    I have seen the racquet companies directly market the players as using a certain racquet model in advertisments.

    Should I give some examples?
     
    #10
  11. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,619
    You're absolutely right. I've seen the same thing.
     
    #11
  12. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,173
    It is definitely deceptive. Djokovic was 'using' the Head Youtek Speed Pro, then 'switched' to the Head Youtek Speed MP 18x20. In both cases, Head stated he was using particular racquets. If he was not (which he most certainly was not), it is false advertising.
    How often do we see the ads that state "Use the Racquet that Player A uses, the XXXX'.
    No different than the Nike Tiger Woods fiasco.
     
    #12
  13. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    It's not nearly as often as you think. I went into my club pro shop this evening (after my earlier post) and couldn't find a single frame out of Prince, Wilson, Babolat (they don't stock Head) which had marketing which claimed a player used it. Many of them however had a player's photo on it but none actually said they used it. This covered about 30-odd current models.

    I'm sure it does happen but it's not as often as people's wishful memories think.

    Go and look at the Babolat range sometime. 1/3 of their frames have a picture of Nadal on them. Really, how much traction do you think a complaint would get if a person said it implied he used all of them?

    Seriously, this topic is less about marketing than it is the complaining nature of fanatics - 99% of whom would complain how much they hated an exact Federer or Murray frame if they were available to buy.

    What next? Suing Nike because you don't look like Nadal when you wear his kit?
     
    #13
  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    So have I. But how many of those actually say the player uses the specific frame model in question?

    Association/endorsement of a brand generally implies nothing other than: our quality product are given the thumbs up by this connoisseur.
     
    #14
  15. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    I have seen racket companies advertise specific rackets being used by specific players.

    The irony is HEAD sued Dunlop for misleading consumers.

    After ATP Tour player Marat Safin's sponsorship switched from Head to Dunlop in early '01, Head execs noticed Safin using "what it believed to be" its i.Prestige racquet with a Dunlop stencil on the strings last fall, according to TENNIS. Head filed a complaint with the district court in Munich, claiming the Dunlop logo "misled consumers into thinking Safin's racquet was a Dunlop." While an injunction was granted before the ATP's Masters Series in Stuttgart last October prohibiting the use of the logo in Germany, Head "hasn't taken any legal action in other countries." But Head "may do so if Dunlop and Safin continue to use the logo." Head VP/Marketing Kevin Kempin said that Dunlop "doesn't confirm or deny the racquet's make but contends that the logo is legal because Safin uses Dunlop strings" (Safin never used Dunlop strings. Just another lie by the racquet companies to try and justify their misleading business practices.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/...ins-Choice-Of-Logo-On-Racquet-Questioned.aspx
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #15
  16. naturallight

    naturallight Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Messages:
    366
    I think if Babolat was worried about this, they could just have Rafa hit with a APDGT for 5 minutes and get his thoughts on it. He is "using" the racquet. He is giving his opinion on the racquet.
     
    #16
  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,051
    Why not file a lawsuit and see what happens?
     
    #17
  18. PimpMyGame

    PimpMyGame Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,433
    Come on, you should know by now that posting something with such brevity and common sense is strictly forbidden on these boards...
     
    #18
  19. petema99

    petema99 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    UK
    Maybe, like in the Tiger case, if someone sues they will bring out the PT630 etc again!!

    :twisted:
     
    #19
  20. billsgwn

    billsgwn Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    266

    I agree. Theres no doubt the companies are deceiving the public and they will coninue to get away with it becaues of shadey lawyers who know how to manipulate the system.
     
    #20
  21. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,365


    Hold on!?!?!

    In talking about rackets on TW, I've often seen that golf has regulated it's clubs and tennis should do the same thing. BUT Tiger Woods has his own special ball??? WTF!?!?
     
    #21
  22. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    Yes, and there are people out there who also think they can actually buy the same clubs Tiger uses as well. :lol:
     
    #22
  23. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    This case can probably be distinguished in that it is a commercial case: one company feels it has incurred loss by the other using its technology or patented design.

    A) Safin case: Company A complaining that company B is using goods made by company A and purporting them to be their own. Loss can be argued - either technology/patent.

    B) Racquet brand vs consumer case: Company promotes frame which player endorses. Consumer model is different from the exact specs of the player's frame. Has loss occurred? Probably not.

    People may feel aggrieved that they can't get the exact fame a pro uses but that in itself means exactly zero. The only thing that matters is how the frames you can buy are marketed. In most cases unfair deception couldn't even be established. Implications of quality/specs etc by association don't achieve that.

    So... indulge me: Were there advertisements from that time-period where it explicitly said "Safin uses this frame" directly related to the one you could buy? If so, then why didn't Head use them as evidence them instead of complaining in the manner they did about Safin's actual frame?

    Anyway... Do you know the result of the Safin case? Someone bringing a case in itself proves nothing really. Did anything come of it?

    The Safin case read more like an effort by Head to market how good Head frames are - so good that even Dunlop players use them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #23
  24. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    3,365
    Sound likes like the "golf has regulated its technology" idea has gone out the window. Why play with a special, customized ball unless it's giving you and edge?
     
    #24
  25. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    Yes, I do know the result of the Safin case and why HEAD did it and you are off. HEAD did it because Safin left HEAD for Dunlop who was paying Safin more. HEAD sued when they had concrete proof that Safin was still using his Prestige CLASSIC 600. They sued to prevent Dunlop from marketing Safin. This lead to Dunlop dropping Safin and HEAD resigning Safin. HEAD did not sue on any copy right or technology grounds but sued on grounds that Dunlop "misled consumers into thinking Safin's racquet was a Dunlop."

    And yes at the time Safin was specifically marked as using the MuscleWeave 200G.
     
    #25
  26. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    What is the result of the Safin case then? That's why I asked and you still haven't said what it was. WHY they did it is obvious - what was the outcome over the attempts at legal remedy in the link you posted?

    When you says they "sued to prevent Dunlop from marketing Safin" do you mean they sued because there was some breach of an existing contract they had with Safin? Or because of the racquet deception which they think harmed their company? I assume it is the latter - in which case it is a commercial law issue.

    The basics
    - A legitimately signed sponsorship deal is no business of anyone other than the parties involved. That's a given.
    - Head say Safin is using their frame painted as a Dunlop. Still no issue here inherently (use-wise) since he could buy the Head frames in a shop and do whatever the **** he liked with them. As can anyone.
    - The marketing however is where it gets blurry. The print/TV marketing no doubt shows Safin using an actual Dunlop frame right? (surely they're not stupid enough to have him using a PJed Head in their marketing)
    - So the remaining issue is that Safin actually uses a Head frame and which Head says Dunlop is being deceptive about and receiving commercial gain for it.

    = Commercial issue.

    Head's practical option for remedy (since no actual loss can be shown) is: embarrassing Dunlop by bringing the issue into the news - basically saying that Head frames are that good that even Dunlop's sponsored players prefer to use them.

    This is exactly what Head did. That is the biggest king-hit win a racquet brand could ever hope for. It not only makes a mockery of the competition but is also newsworthy, earning them free coverage they don't have to pay for. The best grass-roots marketing imaginable. And that's what they always intended it to be.

    Dunlop tries to counter by saying: we're not pretending anything - he uses Dunlop strings (even if he actually wasn't). Whether or not consumers are convinced or even care is open to debate. Still, no loss is established yet here by Head.

    This is being conveniently economical with the reality of the situation. According to everything I saw (or could find now) it was about Dunlop being sick of Safin's antics and breaches of their contract including a couple of instances of his covering up their logo. I can't find nor recall any relationship here with Head's complaints about Safin using their frames. One ref

    It seems like Safin signed with Dunlop and they couldn't make a frame he liked so he kept using PJed Heads. After a few more iterations of Dunlop attempting to make a frame he could/would use use they eventually got sick of him and his antics and decided to part ways.

    -------
    Now, setting this all aside... I can see where you're coming from but what seems or is actually unethical or deceptive doesn't necessarily make for a legal case - in fact that's usually why well-intentioned but poorly considered cases fail. So, let's just assume for a second the details of the current topic, someone took enough issue with what they saw as deceptive marketing it, took it to court and were also successful. What would be the likely resulting remedy?

    Simple: the racquet manufacturers would be told to say sorry and change their advertising. That would be the end of it. There really is no grounds for damages or to force the manufacturer to make a custom pro frame available to all, notwithstanding courts don't bother demanding impractical remedies simply because they don't work. (Esp because, unlike golf balls which are easy to make in bulk, specialised high-spec tennis racquets are not)

    Basically it's making a mountain out of a mole-hill.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #26
  27. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,467
    What I meant was that only (I know I didn't say only in my earlier post) given that there was a loss or harm would there grounds for a case. Otherwise, yes, we can just end it at "there was no harm/loss", but that would be no fun :).

    LOL! That bolded part is very true:), but anyway...

    I always get annoying emails from Wilson saying something like "Federer, using his BLX tour 90, won...Del Potro swung his BLX to reach the QF.., etc.", which do in fact specify that certain players used certain racquets in tournaments. However, the keyword here is the word "his" or "her" racquet, which can imply a modification.

    There are also ads like this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmIIjAsLovQ , in which Nadal is asked how his game was affected by the new "cortex" technology, which Nadal doesn't actually use. They don't say directly say that he uses the racquet, but right now I am attempting to prove an implictly false advertisement was made.

    Using the reasonable person test, as you cited, would the above advertisement be an implicitly false ad? By asking whether or not a "new Aero Pro Drive Cortex" designed for "me"(Nadal), affects Nadal's game, would a reasonable person assume that Nadal is using this new racquet?

    In my opinion, the strength of the claim would depend on the extent of the modification and the explicitness of the wording used in the advtisement. There are players that use completely different racquets, with a paintjob of the advertised racquet. In this case, the player's racquet is, in substance, different from what is advertised.

    Using parallel logic (a bit of stretch I know), the above situation is comparable to Honda advertising that a pro F1 driver used "his" honda Civic, defined by the paintjob, to win F1 races but actually drives a real F1 car with the Honda Civic paintjob.

    This is true but the difference is that Wilson would never say that Federer uses those $20 Walmart juniour sticks, nor is Federer shown hitting with it or asked how the racquet affects his game.

    My opinion is that there may be grounds (given that a harm/loss was incurred), theoretically, to establish a case, but proving the case would be extremely difficult.
     
    #27
  28. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    My own opinion is HEAD filed the lawsuit to force Safin to come back to HEAD. Which is what happened. It was that simple. HEAD was successful in getting a injunction. If the case had no merit the Judge would have not even entertained a injunction. Once Safin re-signed with HEAD the lawsuit magically went away. Just like in the Tiger Woods case. Once the golf balls that Tiger was using became available to the consumer the lawsuit also magically went away. Funny how that works........

    So my point was that HEAD sued Dunlop for misleading the consumer (That is a fact). http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/...ins-Choice-Of-Logo-On-Racquet-Questioned.aspx
    It was done to prevent the Prestige Classic 600 from being painted like a Dunlop. Several months later magically Safin re-signs with HEAD. Was not attempt to embarrass Dunlop

    P.S. It is actually cheaper to manufacture the Pro's frames than the retail ones. But that is a story for another day..........
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #28
  29. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,591
    What about prostock rackets? I've seen some pictures of a Roddick Prostock Racket/ Roddicks actual stick, and his cortex is just painted on. Could Babolat be sued for false advertising because of Roddick's Pure Drive having Cortex for the stock, and painted on cortex for the PS? Roddick has an actual "Signature" racket, and the one he uses, is not the same as the one he endorses. Just some food for thought. :)

    -Fuji
     
    #29
  30. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    If that was the case then it meant Safin had an existing contract with Head which he breached. I don't what deals he did with who but it is certain that, unless that original agreement existed, it could not happen.

    On the point about the contract you may be right but, as I said, without knowing what their arrangements were it's hard to tell. I can't find any evidence that he was forced to go back to Head. Maybe it was a completely new deal which came about by his leaving for Dunlop as a way to force/encourage Head to up their offer.

    Again, assuming the above is true then it makes sense correct. But that's only assuming the above.

    I think you are getting the boundaries of legal concepts a little blurred. The two areas we're discussing here are distinct from each other. Contractual obligations are a whole different area of law to deceptive/misleading marketing - with no overlap. And these even vary legal system to legal system. Germany, for example, has laws more related to English-heritage Common Law which (like Australia, NZ, Canada etc) are more rooted in valuing precedents set in similar cases. America does this somewhat also but is the odd-one out here in allowing all manner of mind-boggling and deliberately frivolous stupidity to exist with no boundaries other than the imagination, determination and funds of the person pursuing a notion.

    The Tiger Woods case is a completely different area of law. It was only about misleading practices, not about contractual obligations as the Head/Safin case was supposedly about. (and which sound pretty likely given how oddball Safin could be). As I said above, I think the Woods/Nike case was a little more clear-cut because they were so explicit in their statements.

    Now you are back onto the point of the thread - misleading marketing.

    But embarrassing Dunlop was the primary outcome and one which made Head look even better as it let consumers know, as I said, that Head is so good that even people supposedly using something else still use their frames.

    That was a huge win for Head. And perhaps too for Safin because it got him back at the table with Head who, I assume, made some concessions to have him back (more money perhaps). Either that or he simply was desperate for a frame he could play with and they were the only option.

    It is? Tell me more. I always thought (custom) pro frames would be made in smaller runs, often using non-standard mixes of materials and with more uniformity in weight/balance/characteristics. Surely that alone would indicate that they would cost more to produce per unit. I'm not an expert on composite fabrication but there is usually a direct correlation between increasing specificity/quality and cost in other areas of manufacturing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #30
  31. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    I agree with most of your post but this part here is an issue which is worth mentioning.

    Showing someone simply playing with a frame - even in an advert - doesn't constitute a "promise" unless it is also explicitly stated what it is and that they use it. Implication is the weapon of much of marketing - it creates enough of a link but not a definitive one.

    There certainly is a line which some companies will have crossed but, I imagine they could then defend it with: when we made the advert he was using the actual model you can buy... but later on decided he needed to make a few adjustments and...
    ...And then away you go.

    Were they being misleading? It's hard to argue they were in any sense which would warrant taking them to court. Sure, a detail-oriented person from a tennis board such as here might feel slighted by this sort of deception, but I don't think it'll get much traction in legal avenues.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    #31
  32. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    Once again you missed my point. The lawsuit under the guise of the the misleading the the consumer would force Safin to choose to actually switch racquets or come back to HEAD. Which was the effect. The lawsuit caused enough pain to make Safin and Dunlop end their relationship. Because when it came down to it Safin would not switch to a Dunlop.

    You missed my point again. I was purely talking about the merits that HEAD used to sue Dunlop on Misleading the Consumer. In my very lowly opinion it was a tactic purely used to cause pain for Safin and Dunlop.

    I say Safin was forced to go back to HEAD because once the pain caused the split between Dunlop and Safin he had no choice. He only felt comfortable with the Prestige Classic 600. There is only one company and one factory in the world that can produce those sticks. So what choices did he have?



    Both the Tiger Wood Lawsuit and the Dunlop/Safin Lawsuit were both about misleading the consumer. You are confusing the motivation of the of the individuals for the filing of the lawsuit. One was to get the Ball to the consumer the other was to cause pain.

    Safin was getting $1Million a year from Dunlop. It was reported at that time in 2002 that Safin ended up getting paid less than that from HEAD.


    Weight and balance are added after manufacture for the individual player. Also I have never seen a difference in quality. The raw materials come from the same supply chain. But I have derailed this thread enough. I will just leave you with this: Clearly it's not a great strategy to deceive the public.
     
    #32
  33. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,404
    Fair call on all of that. I see where you're coming from, just don't think it played out so neatly.


    Regardless of when the weight was added how would be hey cheaper to produce? Also - I thought some suspected Federer's frames to have slightly different layup to the original K90. That aside they were drilled differently to the retail model and now are also painted as another model. This surely makes them more expensive to produce than the supposed retail frame?

    Agree. But it seems most racquet companies do it so it must be good for the bank balance in some way. They wouldn't do it otherwise.
     
    #33
  34. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    Sunny San Diego
    This thread just makes me sad to think that I can never have quality racquets from corporate companies.

    Makes me want to spend some money on vantage customs.
     
    #34
  35. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    You do have very high quality racquets that you can buy!
     
    #35
  36. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    People believe that the K90 is the closest you can buy the the Fed frame. Also the Fed frame and the retail have had the same drill pattern since the K90 and there was a S.E. of the N90 that had the same drill pattern as Fed's.

    I have derailed this thread enough.
     
    #36
  37. DAS2011

    DAS2011 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    112

    Wow I had never even noticed this, but you are absolutely correct. I checked the Prince website, and no where does it say: "David Ferrer uses the Prince EXO3 Tour". It simply has a photo of him on the Tour's page. It was I, the consumer, who made the assumption. Marketing is a powerful thing, really!

    And now, thinking back, I even remember this from Wilson's old commercials for the K90: "This is Roger Federer. This is his K.Six.One." That does't specify that he used a K90 in actual matches, it simply stated that he owned one. Even with Federer's signature on the frame, there is no legal traction there. These guys have obviously thought these things out...

    I mean, I am not mad, because I didn't choose any frames I have ever played with based on the Pros who endorse it. And I don't really understand how a serious player could be mad since it is unlikely that a pro's exact frame will improve your game anyway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
    #37
  38. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,495
    Location:
    So Cal
    There are enough lawyers who play tennis that if this case did have merit it would have been brought already.

    Everyone customizes their racket. I'm sure the defense lawyers would say "Do you put on an overgrip? A dampener? Lead tape? Do you get your strings strung at a specific tension? And you do all that to, hopefully, play your best. Why do you think doing exactly what Fed/Rafa/etc. does would improve your play?"

    Additionally, racket vendors make different rackets for different levels of play. The pros whose pics are on that advertising aren't stating they use them - their putting their reputation behind them - e.g. 'Fed believes this entry level Wilson racket is a fine stick for the weekend hacker.'
     
    #38
  39. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    We are talking about paint jobs: taking a old or custom made (Mold and layup) racquet not availabe for sale to the consumer. Not about custmizing a racquet by overgrip, lead tape , or dampener.

    HEAD racquet rebel Novak Djokovic has returned to the world No. 2 ranking thanks to another standout performance as the Serb won the ATP 1000 BNP Paribas Open Masters title in Indian Wells over Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic improved his record to an impressive 18-0 this season on the ATP world tour with trophies at Indian Wells, Dubai and the Australian Open and remains unbeaten since he has switched to his new HEAD YouTek IG SPEED MP 18/20 racquet. Djokovic's win followed his semi-final knockout of No. 2 Roger Federer, whom the HEAD player has now replaced in the ATP rankings.
    http://www.head.com/tennis/news.php?region=eu&id=995

    This is a out right lie. He is has not switched anything except the paint. This is clearly misleading the consumer.
     
    #39
  40. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,495
    Location:
    So Cal
    Head would counter that the rackets are derivatives of each other.

    Another thing to consider: where is the loss (which is what a judgement would be based on)? It is weaselly (I don't like Sales/Marketing people either), but overselling/embellishing products is common. You wanted a good racket and you got one. If they said "you'll make the ATP tour if you use the racket Joker does" you'd have some claim. Similar to a car dealer telling you a Hummer would get 35 mpg.

    If you think you have a case, call a lawyer. Like I said, plenty of lawyers know tennis. If there were a case, they'd have filed by now given the amount of money in yearly sales.
     
    #40
  41. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    The Joker's racquet has nothing to do with what is sold. Different head size, different head shape, different mold, and different composition.

    There have been cases. One is the Tiger Woods golf ball case that was dropped when Nike agreed to sell Tiger's actual ball and the HEAD case against Dunlop about safin's frames while with Dunlop. HEAD had even got a injunction before the case was resolved.
     
    #41
  42. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    951
    The Tennis Channel now does an equipment profile where they list the racket, shoes, and clothing the player supposedly uses. I assume TTC is getting money from the companies to display these profiles. If they would say the player uses a "customized" or "modified" whatever, I could accept it.
     
    #42
  43. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    969
    That's not even the case. I could say I use a customized Yonex RQiS just because I put lead tape on it. The fact of the matter is, "I" still used the RQiS and felt it needed some tweaking.

    It's different from Head saying Novak "used" the "customized" IG Speed when its an entirely different racquet.

    Anyway, its a lost cause. Racquet companies won't get charged for this.

    The only one who loses is Mr. 3.5 Joe who thinks getting a BLX Tour will make his game better.
     
    #43
  44. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    2,974
    Location:
    location, location, location
    And Jeff Gordon drives a Chevy Monte Carlo:

    [​IMG]
     
    #44
  45. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    Stock car racing and tennis is not even comparable.....

    With Tennis when talking about amateurs and the Tour we all use the same tennis balls, we all play on the same size tennis courts (within the lines). When the Babolat Aero ProDrive first came out it was the SAME as Nadal's. Now it is not. Why you say. Simple because of marketing. With Stock car it is not even comparable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
    #45
  46. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,961
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Most people could not handle pro frames anyway unless they played about everyday for years. A swingweight of 355 is awesome if you are real big and play 2-3 hours a day.

    Imagine lower level players trying to play with Soderling's "prestige". They would hate it. It's tough enough for many players to use the retail prestige, which is fine for most d1 level collegiate players.
     
    #46
  47. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    People did use Soderlings "Prestige" it was called the Pro Tour 630 when it was sold and marketed to the public. We are not talking about the weight balance, and swing weight of the pros. But the mold and composition of their frames.
     
    #47
  48. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,961
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    Yes, that is true. I guess I was focusing on the specs from the convo.

    But like you said, anyone could have bought Nadal's APD at a store, and still can on the bay. And many other frames pros use are retail, just specced out differently.
     
    #48
  49. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    6,029
    Nuke makes a fair point about NASCAR. What NASCAR allows to be called a Monte Carlo is a tubular framed, fully fabricated machine that has as much to do with a Monte Carlo as a funny car dragster does. But the point, relevant to the discussion, is that if the car driven by Jeff Gordon is made by Chevy or its contractors, or if the racquet used by Joker is made by Head, the courts generally consider that sufficient to allow a product endorsement. My understanding of the Tiger Woods issue is that there was much question at one time as to whether his equipment, clubs or balls, were actually made by Nike. Likewise the Safin affair where it involved a product not actually made by the company being endorsed.
     
    #49
  50. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,846
    There were two situations with the Tiger Woods Ball. One was that he was still using the Titlist. The second situation was the Custom ball that Nike had made after the Titleist Ball Law suit.

    This is the Lawsuit I am talking about:
    Woods does not use ball he promotes, admits sponsor
    By Simon Davis in Los Angeles 12:00AM BST 24 Aug 2000
    NIKE, the sports equipment company, has been forced to concede that Tiger Woods does not use the golf balls he is paid £694,000 a year to endorse.

    After a consumer group filed a lawsuit in a California court, Nike has admitted that amateur golfers could not buy the same balls as their championship-winning hero.
    Woods receives the money to endorse the Nike Tour Accuracy, which has quickly become a best-seller, but he has used a unique and specially modified ball in his recent run of victories in the majors.

    "Tiger Woods does not play the Nike Tour Accuracy golf ball, but plays one with a different composition and performance characteristics specially made for him and not available to the general public," the plaintiffs said in their law suit.
    The Woods-endorsed ball is heavily promoted in television and magazine advertisements. But it has an extra hard shell and inner segment to make it tougher and enable him to hit further. "Those two elements are slightly firmer than the marketed ball," said Mike Kelly, marketing director for Nike Golf


    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/story?id=100737&page=1
    Woods Uses, Endorses Different Golf Balls
    Tiger Woods Doesn’t Use
    the Balls He Endorses

    Shortly after being sued by a nonprofit consumer action group for unfair business practices, Nike admitted the golf ball Tiger Woods uses on the links is not the same one he endorses for the company.
    Woods endorses the Nike Tour Accuracy golf balls in print and TV ads. But Mike Kelly, marketing director of Nike Golf, admitted Tuesday the world’s No. 1 player uses a custom-made ball with a harder inner and outer core that produces drives of 300 yards or more. That ball is not available to everyday duffers.

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

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

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

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

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

    Making the Switch

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

    Nike executives said in July that sales of Nike’s golf ball jumped immediately after Woods won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 shots. Woods went on to win the British Open in July and the PGA Championship last weekend.


    When Nike said they would sell the same ball that Tiger uses the lawsuit magically went away........
     
    #50

Share This Page