Priority One: Waste of money or Necessary?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Overdrive, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I agree. I actually can't see how Federer would get the service he does for $40k a year - the number seems too low in my opinion.

    Let's say it's 13 tournaments (4 majors, 8 masters) only... a couple of grant per tournament would make up $40k right there... and there's no way the guys at P1 do this on the cheap - they have flights, excess baggage, hotels, transport, renting a room at tournament venues etc to pay for at every event - plus all the business running costs (rent, insurance etc) which add up quickly.

    Even splitting their time amongst 10 high level (of service) players who all pay that amount it would be hard to make a good business out of it for $40k per top client - stringing is very labour intensive and there's only so many restrings you can do. Servicing Federer's frames alone would take up 4+ hours every day he plays during a tournament... Multiply that by only 8 or 9 top male players and you suddenly need 4-5 people to do the work/admin and also cater to lower demand clients. That's more flights, more hotels, more transport, more meals etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
    #51
  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Interesting topic and discussion. Being that I have worked first hand with P1, I thought I'd share my thoughts.

    Priority One, Stringing & Customizing, and The Hall Of Fame
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=438964


    40K a year is actually very little when one actually sees what is provided for players at tournaments. Take for example, Federer. He may give P1 5 or 6 frames to string for practice, then another 5 or 6 for the match later that day. At $25 per re-string, that's about $250 a day. Multiply that times 10 (if he makes the final), and that's over $2,500 for a tournament. If Fed plays all 4 majors, and then 8 masters, that's over $30,000 alone just for re-stringing his frames.

    Now, there is the customizing of each and every one of his frames to exact specifications, which could be well over 40 frames a year. Additionally, over 40 frames a year which have custom molded handles.

    Additionally, Federer doesn't have to worry about his equipment. P1 carries a lot of his equipment for him (racquets, strings, grips, overgrips, etc).

    Add to that the fact that all his frames are being strung by the same guy, with the same machine, and he has a personal racquet technician traveling with him throughout the year.

    In my opinion, it's peanuts, and I just barely gave you guys a glimpse of what is done for their Gold clients. Some of these players give them up to 20 frames a day to string.

    Just food for thought.
     
    #52
  3. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I think other people besides the professionals are getting the "gold service" for $40K a year.

    Don't forget the wealthy people who play tennis. Those people go to tennis clubs that you can't even get a membership for. That business can just pay the "gold service" so everyone can get their racquets customized on just 1 account.
    But there are people who pay for silver and bronze though. I think the company makes around $1-3 million a year (rough estimate). "/
     
    #53
  4. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    It is very little given the amount of work they do, the hours, the travel.. its a hard slog from what youve described here and in past threads. Its great to have someone on this board (aside from Ron himself) who can give such insight to stringing/customisation at the top level

    Curious, with the amount of turnover in frames each year for their clients, what do the players or P1 do with the superseded frames? Seems like given their service, P1 should keep the unused frames. Great way to fund their retirement after all the hard work ;)
     
    #54
  5. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    So you think their "gold service" should be MORE?

    $60,000? $75,000?
     
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  6. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the good additional information, Drakulie. I must confess when I saw the $40k number, I thought it was too low. If Roger Federer is paying only $40k I would be shocked. I suspect it is significantly higher ( i.e., Roger is not a "mere Gold" customer).
     
    #56
  7. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    So, the guys at P1 enjoy their job but are constrained because of the traveling and hotels stays. Understandable.

    Woah, the warehouse (or job atmosphere) is very lacking. But I do also understand that they have to focus and be professional in their stringing because watching TV while stringing can be a no-no. :)
     
    #57
  8. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Do the pros get free restrings at tournaments? Or what does it cost?
     
    #58
  9. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I wouldn't see a major difference between a Platinum service and a Gold service. Maybe just being able to string up to 100 frames at any time instead of the maximum of 60.
     
    #59
  10. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Yes because they are already under the "contract" from the beginning of the service to the expiration date.
    If not, the racquet companies should actually pay for the players to use P1 because they are the ones that are sponsoring the players to use the racquets... But I guess it wouldn't make sense because they are already paying to use the racquets and paying the players for P1 is something that is miscellaneous or something.
     
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  11. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This... ^

    They customise 12 frames for him 4 times a year - so that's 48 frames right there. Plus he'd likely also have any others supplied if/when any are damaged - even cosmetically... Let's just call is 50 frame total... For each one P1 would have to spend a couple of hours on average weighing, weighting/balancing, custom-gripping, overwrapping, checking frames for damage etc - that alone would be 100 hours minimum a year. At a nominal consultancy rate of $100/hr that's $10k gone and he hasn't even had a single restring yet.

    $40k is way too low imo if the P1 guys care to make any profit at all. For what it's worth even $100k would be a great deal for someone like Federer to permanently have someone else make sure he always has the frame he wants without even thinking about it and to never have to bother ordering strings/grommets/grips or other parts.
     
    #61
  12. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    You think a P1 gold service is $100,000? I don't know about that...
    The more you increase the price in a product, the more restrictions the consumer partakes. Besides pro players, I think tennis clubs who make alot of money and have alot of players, tournaments, coaches, staff, etc. could just chip in for a P1 gold service so everyone can get their racquets strung and customized.

    Drakulie should've addressed the P1 guys about pricing information and how did they agree to the number 40,000.
     
    #62
  13. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I put lead, leather grip, overgrip, etc. on my 4 MG Prestige Pros. I matched them just by feeling the apparent weight and swinging it around. A couple months later I was able to check them out. I was within 1g on weight and 5 points on swingweight. So I can tell the difference between slight differences in weight.
    However, I play with these rackets, my old Black Aces, a POG, an RDti70-88, and my Dad's oversize racket, and I don't play significantly better with the MGPPs than with all the totally different rackets. I generally play at least one set with one of the other rackets each time I play and there isn't a difference in results. (A string job will make a noticeable difference if it is strung too lose or if the poly is dead)
    Mentally, it probably makes a difference to the pros to have each racket feel the same. It would bother them and hurt their confidence if a racket was different. I'm not sure that physically it would make a bit of difference if their rackets were identically matched or not.
    For $40,000, which is pocket change to them, it is worth it to pay the $.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
    #63
  14. rqtguy

    rqtguy New User

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    I find it interesting how much debate overdrive has stirred up over this issue.
    Keep swinging away DW!
     
    #64
  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    haha... imagine if they spent that much money on coaching and practice. they'd probably be awesome tennis players...
     
    #65
  16. kkm

    kkm Semi-Pro

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    Federer's total is at least 60 a year, 5 sets of 12.

    Don't forger that 40K covers only majors and masters 1000 tournaments and that players pay extra for P1 to string for them at other tournaments. For example, the Basel tournament, which a number P1 clients play, is a 500-level tournament. They would also pay extra for Dubai.
     
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  17. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Platinum service includes not only making your own racket optimal, but also making the opponents less so.
     
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  18. star 5 15

    star 5 15 Professional

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    I'm about 99% sure the Gold service is ONLY for touring pros. Take it from someone who is a Bronze Client. This thread is actually pretty comical really. P1 is the best in the business, and if they had more hours in the day, they would utilize them. Time is money and their time is extremely valuable. And whether or not someone needs the service is subjective. That is a personal choice.
     
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  19. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    Not really

    Remember that most pros use the in house string services that the event provides. Only the players that can afford it are signed to a company like P1 or ****. I believe that string may be provided by the contracted company if the player has a contact but stringing is done for approx $25 per racquet. If a player has to provide their own string it has to be dropped off with the stringers along with instructions.

    Also I would not call it a butler service as they is a lot more engineering and expertise that goes into it, that rec players will never know.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #69
  20. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Don't forget Grand Slams. I saw the P1 guys string Li's and Azarenka's racquets pre-match. :)

    I don't understand paying extra for minors. They could just get more guys. :S
     
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  21. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    But I don't believe that everyone on the ATP rankings can afford P1 Gold Service.

    I'm not sure Male #578 can afford P1 Gold. :-|

    A P1 guy can fully customize a Gold client's maximum amount of racquets (50) for less than $40,000.

    For example:

    Let's say Federer uses a 10 Wilson racquet bag and uses it only for his racquets (I don't know if he does or not).

    Let's say on average, a P1 guy can customize a Federer racquet in around 25 minutes.

    So, 50 x 25= 1250 minutes or 20 hours roughly 8-9 minutes. They could easily just have more than one guy string his racquets.

    Federer's "people" can just place the rest of the racquets in 4 other 10-pack racquet bags and transfer it from place to place. Shipping and handling fees from traveling may stack up in price, but no where near $40,000.

    I know for sure that this would not equal $40,000.
     
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  22. Chemist

    Chemist Rookie

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    In one of the post match interviews at AO, Li Na was asked what her husband's new role was. Li said that he prepared her drinks and strung her rackets.
     
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  23. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Really? I didn't know that. So #578 uses the in-house stringing?

    I don't know, they seem to be experienced racquet butlers to me... :/
     
    #73
  24. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Ha, that's funny :)

    Well, it's cheaper than using P1!
     
    #74
  25. kkm

    kkm Semi-Pro

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    majors = the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open

    grand slam = winning all four majors in a year

    You would have seen Wilson/**** stringing the WTA finalists' racquets before the Australian Open final.

    The $40000 gold service fee is for customizing a player's racquets and stringing his racquets at the majors and masters 1000 tournaments, not just for customizing. The silver and bronze services are for clients who need customizing only, and probably cost quite a bit less.

    Why would the P1 guys charge what it costs them in travel expenses and supply costs? Breaking even is the same as having a job that pays nothing. I'm guessing that they actually want to make a living. Being away from home much of the year, staying in hotels, getting up at odd hours to string while already jetlagged, not having home-cooked meals, finding time to sleep and eat, and otherwise passing time while their players are practicing and playing matches are no fun. Don't forget that racquet techs who do work for touring pros, including P1 and a few others, have specialized knowledge and capabilities, and that's part of what touring pros are paying for. $40000 is not so much for a successful singles player. Pros who sign up with traveling private stringers are also paying for the peace of mind that all they have to do is show of at the tournament and that there will be the same person to take care of their equipment needs. And the pros who have P1 just customize their racquets but not string for them probably believe it to be a decent value, otherwise would they sign with P1?
     
    #75
  26. kkm

    kkm Semi-Pro

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    And don't forget that flying to and staying in Melbourne, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Wimbledon, Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati, New York, Shanghai, Paris again, and London (the WTF), when these tournaments are held, because so many want to go there, would probably mean that already pretty high airfare and accommodation could easily be even more expensive at tournament time. They do a few non-major non-masters 1000 tournaments and an occasional Davis Cup series, it adds up.
     
    #76
  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    That wasn't P1. That was the stringers for the wilson string team.

    He doesn't string her frames. I believe what she meant, is that he takes the racquets to the stringers and then picks them up.
     
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  28. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    Indeed, he's certainly been demoted!
     
    #78
  29. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    Funny actually that someone noticed that at one of the tournament's where P1 were not offering their services to RF, his overgrip was wrapped noticeably differently and unevenly!

    They really have an eye for detail that even my anal self can admire!
     
    #79
  30. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    What makes you think P1 would take on a whole club, on one gold service? Rather out of touch with reality I would say.
     
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  31. PeterFig

    PeterFig Professional

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    I was going to try and actually write up an answer to your pretty comical (unintentionally so) post and it's logic. But instead I think I'll just: :rolleyes:

    ;)
     
    #81
  32. star 5 15

    star 5 15 Professional

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    The Gold Service only includes stringing for the 4 slams, masters series, year end championship, and in some situations davis cup ties. Therefore it would not make sense for "#578" to sign up for this service. They would go for the next step down Silver or even Bronze if they do not want a dedicated handle mold. I don't understand why you guys are dogging on P1 so hard. If they were overcharging for their services they wouldn't be servicing so many of the top guys in the world. There is a demand for their service and they charge accordingly. I've had conversations with Nate about customizing for myself, I play D1, and trust me, they are having no problem whatsoever finding clients. If anything they are struggling to keep up with the demand for their service.

    Edit: I have also used P1, ****, and some no name services for my customizing and for an entire package of customer service, attention to detail, and quality of work, P1 wins in a LAND SLIDE. They are the best in the business plain and simple.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
    #82
  33. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Oh My God.....
     
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  34. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Okay, I didn't know that.
    I have never said anything negative about P1's service and professionalism. It is just a conversation with other TT members on whether do they think it's worth the money or not.
     
    #84
  35. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Well sorry, this sounds like something I would do (not being cheap, it just sounded like a good a idea to me).

    To each his own.
     
    #85
  36. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Oh okay, the guys on ESPN were saying that P1 was stringing the players in the WTA final at the Autrailian Open.

    I understand that P1 wants to make money. Isn't that the point of a business?

    I don't know, I guess that stringing and customizing a number of racquets didn't sound expensive to me but traveling with them all year seems like they are having a second life. :(
     
    #86
  37. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Money talks. :cool:
     
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  38. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    ^ I do not think a company such as P1 would have enough hours in the day to do that. "money talks" maybe in some cases but I don't think P1 has to worry about Money either.
     
    #88
  39. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    What the heck are you talking/posting about? Go look at their website again and see what they do and WHO they are marketing their services to. I know only a little about about P1, but I do have some common sense.
     
    #89
  40. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I'm just wondering whether they actually make a substantial profit from this as the cost of travel, shipping expenses, miscellaneous, add up pretty quickly..

    I wonder if the people that are around you think you have common sense as well...
     
    #90
  41. Hao2Pro

    Hao2Pro New User

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    This response summed it all up.
     
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  42. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    More than you imho.
     
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  43. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    I believed that my thread was actually very interesting. Even drakulie even complented me on it. I'm not going to start disputes on here.
     
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  44. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    It did actually. I'm surprised this thread had revived, but only with a childish remark. Oh well.. :roll:
     
    #94
  45. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I did not say that your thread was not interesting, just that to me Rjtennis seems to have more common sense than you.
     
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  46. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Yes, he does have more common sense than me.
     
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  47. Thud and blunder

    Thud and blunder Semi-Pro

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    Why whould Fed et al pay anything? Do they pay Nike to wear their gear? Surely those monogrammed P1 bags are advertising gold dust, and the real money is made from hedge fund hackers?
     
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  48. kkm

    kkm Semi-Pro

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    P1 has a small number of gold clients. They have more silver and bronze clients, who pay for customization but not stringing. Of course there are non-pro clients for their bronze and silver services, but I don't think that P1 are looking for much retail/non-pro work. I can't and don't want to speak for them, but I don't think that hedge-fund hackers are their potentially largest, or target client base.

    **** has fewer clients they travel to string for, but also quite a few customization-only pro clients. **** does look more for non-pro work since they have a retail location to maintain in midtown Manhattan.
     
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  49. 3fees

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    Humm , lots of things I could remark on, yet I won't.
     
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  50. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    if you pay more for sticks then you to for training/coaching then you're doing it wrong.
     

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