Why Are Racquet Manufacturers Allowed To Lie Re: What Racquets Their Players Use?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by asifallasleep, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. asifallasleep

    asifallasleep Professional

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    Why is this not illegal? Head claims Gasquet and Youzhny both use the Extreme Pro 2.0 while most people know Gasquet's frame is a paint job of the Extreme. Watching the Gasquet-Youzhny semi at the Weber the frames are clearly different with Youzhny's frame more round and Gasquet's more
    Oval.
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Does any pro competitor in any sport use stock off the shelf gear?
    How can the companies work on what's better for the next generation?
     
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  3. asifallasleep

    asifallasleep Professional

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    A modified version of the actual stock frame they advertise as the players frame is one thing but painting a completely different racquet and passing that off as something else is not cool!!!!
     
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  4. asifallasleep

    asifallasleep Professional

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    I don't even get your comment about how can companies work on what's better for the next generation. $&@)((;72$2&2&!!!!?!
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Tennis is possibly the only sport where the top competitors are constantly using what they grew up using, and a new spec racket something to be avoided at almost all costs.
    In every other sport, there is equipement developing being done by the top competitors. Not in tennis, it seems.
     
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  6. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I can't see why people get overly annoyed by this practice.

    It's probably not illegal for the simple reason that they are not claiming that the exact same racquet is being used in competition.

    Talk about his gear, or what he uses, or endorses is not quite the same claim.

    Some degree of exaggeration is even allowed, in any event, as alternative medicines make all sorts of claims and they are legally sold.

    There is no real difference in the case of a modified as opposed to a completely different racquet as they still rely on the 'exaggeration' that the players uses the exact same one you will buy.
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    A racquet is a very simple piece of equipment when all's said and done.



     
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  8. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    Because their target demographics are rich kids and mid-life crisis men who need to do, use and wear everything their favourite player does. This ever-reliable market is always ready, willing and able to buy the latest product no matter the cost, which is good for the manufacturer, but it conflicts with the reality that professionals tend to use the same racquet over the course of their career. Paintjobs are thus the best answer the companies have come up with.

    Sensible people test out a few racquets and find one that works best for them, regardless of which players the brand endorses. They also don't attempt to use 'player frames' as they realize they aren't anywhere close to the approriate level, nor do they lead up their racquets to the specs of their favourite player as they realize that this would actually be a detriment to their game.
     
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  9. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah use it once and its As used by Novak Djokovic. If their claim was as used by Federer to win the 2012 Wimbledon title there may be some more legal issues
     
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  10. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Because no matter which racquet you buy, you will never come anywhere close to being able to play tennis like Youhzny nor Gasquet so why does it matter what racquet they use and which racquet you buy?
     
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  11. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    I am thinking back in time and think that manufacturers have been doing this probably since the racquets went to graphic composition - 25 years???

    They are in the business of selling dreams, potential and cool racquets of ones idols is the way to do it!

    You never going to be good enough to get to the tour level anyways so why try to sell the exact racquet that the particular player uses in the first place?

    That is the thinking behind it all! Sell a racquet that the recreational players can use but make it look like the racquet of his or her idol uses.

    Marketing strategy is tested year in and year out!
     
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  12. NiceLa

    NiceLa New User

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    I'm just happy that we can easily buy the same strings that the top pros use. The guys at table tennis forums have it way tougher, trying to get a pro's custom layup racket is pretty impossible since they only have two rackets.
     
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  13. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Okay, but when it is a competing manufacturer's racquet painted to look like the sponsor's product, that is more than just an exaggeration, it is outright deception. Wait until Wimbledon when Wozniacki plays with a Babolat painted to look like a Yonex. Not that she will be the only one.
     
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  14. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    Or James Blake playing with a Donnay painted Dunlop?
     
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  15. TennisD

    TennisD Semi-Pro

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    Exactly. It simply does not matter. Get over it.
     
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  16. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

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    I always thought it was interesting though that Venus and Serena, it seems, have always used the frames they say they were. Granted, the specs have been modified, but Venus won Wimbledon with the N5, the one with the weirdly shaped throat, and there is no way to paint job that attribute.

    I just hate it when everyone says use a super headlight racquet when you are a volleyer, and then reference Sampras's supposed frame specs, without realizing he leaded the thing up to a almost a perfectly even balance.
     
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  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Paintjobs have been going on for MUCH longer than that. I think they even had them back in the 1940's or earlier with wood racquets. Yes, you can easily paint a wood racquet to look like a different model. Heck, Laver even painted his wood Dunlop Maxply Forts to look like aluminum Chemold racquets because he preferred to play with his old wood racquets than the aluminum racquets he was marketing for Chemold under a sponsorship deal.
     
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  18. Blaxican10s

    Blaxican10s Banned

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    Do any of the racquet companies say explicitly the the __________ is used by _________? I don't think of them outright say that so it's not quite lying.
     
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  19. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    http://head.com/tennis/products/racquets/tour-radical/?region=eu

    It says:
     
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  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    ^^^^

    "weapon of choice" doesn't necessarily mean that Murray actually uses it to play tournament matches with.

    It could just mean that if you asked Murray which of these 5 weapons you should choose, he would reply - "choose this one".
     
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  21. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Would be happier if people turned up with a tube of decent balls once in a while...

    Why worry about frames when the strings are dead and the balls have been open more than a day?
     
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  22. Quickdraw

    Quickdraw New User

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    Those are some real verbal gymnastics. If Head would have to go that far, adding facts that were not there, to make the statement seem plausible/defensible, then their collective noses are growing.

    Clearly, the implication of referring to a racquet as his “weapon of choice” is that it is the racquet that he uses. Players could “endorse” racquets without going so far as to create the false impression that they actually play tournaments with the racquet.

    Alternative medicines often make claims about the benefits, such as they will make prettier, happier, blah, blah, blah… Similarly, racquet companies make wild claims about the benefits of their latest, greatest technology. These claims are a matter of opinion, so the person making the claim can get away with it, usually anyway. However, the alternative medicine company could not make a false statement of fact, such as to the ingredients of the medicine. Similarly, if a racquet company makes a statement that a pro plays with a racquet, when he does not, this is not “exaggeration” or puffing, it is a false statement of fact (i.e. lying). On the other hand, I would not consider modifying a racquet, such as by adding lead tape, to even fall in the category of an exaggeration.

    Also, the question is not whether it is legal or not. This message board is the court of public opinion. We should expect more from businesses. Maybe you don’t, and that is okay too. You would probably say that the world has bigger problems, and I would agree. All things being equal, however, I would prefer not being lied to.
     
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  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But maybe he does use it - in practice or hitting around for fun. Head didn't specifically say that Murray used the same exact racquet for playing ATP tournament matches as you can buy off-the-rack in a retail store.
     
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  24. Noltae

    Noltae Rookie

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    I think the most useful thing to take from this thread is that next time one is looking for some new racquets head for the sale rack/bargin bin as we all know that this seasons model is a total waste of money...
     
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  25. blitzmage_89

    blitzmage_89 Rookie

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    They could simply argue that they're using a very heavily modified version of a 2013 racquet. It's just like basketball shoes. The shoes custom-made to NBA stars like Lebron or Wade are probably a lot different compared to the shoes being sold to the market.
     
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  26. mrmike

    mrmike Rookie

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    Even if you can exactly duplicate a pro's racquet the best bet is still to use the equipment that works for your game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
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  27. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

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    where can I buy a Camry with V8 & RWD... :D
     
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  28. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    I somewhat agree.

    I know most pro basketball players use orthotic insoles and some may have different materials or color make up. But for the most part it is the same shoe.

    Its not like LeBron or Kobe are out there playing in their last season or (first season) shoe and making it look like the current model.

    The only problem I have is when companies say things along the lines of this is the racket that such and such is using on the court. I would not have a problem with saying this is the racket that such and such endorses. It is deceiving.

    Personally I do not care if I am using the exact same racket that a player is using. But don't go using the fact that a pro is using the racket as a selling point when in fact they are not.
     
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  29. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    the proper analogy would be if you went to the store to buy the "official NBA basketball" and finding out that what the NBA actually uses is a soccer ball inflated with helium painted to look like a basketball.

    A more ethical approach would be like Federer. His off the shelf racquet is "close enough" to what he uses that it's probably the way it should be done. Most Babolat users are also "close enough". The problem is with crap like Gasquet using an instinct painted like an extreme. Or Djokovic and Murray using completely different racquets. Safin using a Head prestige painted like a dumblop.
     
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  30. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    and Jeff Gordon races a Chevy Impala.
     
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  31. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Lol. That sound's ridiculous, but you're probably right. The amount of flubbing and misdirection that's going on is very high, but the companies can make an argument just as you made and probably legally be in the clear.

    And, this may sound even more ridiculous, but I can see companies arguing that the paint job is just as much a part of the racquet as any particular spec.
     
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  32. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Actually, I'd say the most useful thing to take away from this thread is that you should never buy a racquet just because some pro uses it but buy the racquet that you like playing with the most. So demo before you buy. It could be that last year's model is better than the new one or it could be that the new one is better but you won't know unless you try both of them.
     
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  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Exactly!

    Does Jeff Gordon drive a Chevy Impala in NASCAR races? Well, yes, he does.

    Is it the same Chevy Impala you can buy from your local dealer? Nope, not even close.

    So can Chevy use Jeff Gordon in its marketing and say that he races a Chevy Impala? Sure, why not? That's why they pay him millions after all.
     
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  34. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    and Gasquet actually uses an old LM Instinct, I think, but really, who cares?

    as someone else said, how else are they supposed to market these things? Who is to say the latest frames aren't actually better than the ones the pros use?
     
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  35. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    this is quite possibly the best post you've ever made (not trying to be a jerk either). this is what bugs me the most about the wilson lawsuit. are we such fanboys and girls that we blindly buy player x's "weapon of choice" and throw away our own? sure, i've got a couple of tw donnays but when it's go time, they stay at home and i take my yonexes (whose endorsers are apparently dropping like flies) because all areas of my game are better with them. i started buying yonexes based on demoing them and everything else (wilsons, heads, dunlops, babolats and probably some others i'm forgetting). now if you're a kid and roger is your fave and you've wanted the new blx whatever since the first time fed pulled it out of the bag, that's one thing, but if you're an adult and you haven't learned in 20 or 30+ years that "all that glitters isn't gold" then i think that's on you. if you buy a racquet that looks like feds and expect that now you can beat everyone who plays with a pro drive roddick or smack 100 mph windshield wiper fhs (complete with eastern grip) then in a way you deserve whatever you get. as an adult, you should be prepared to live in a world where you understand not everyone has your best interests at heart and you should be prepared to do your own research as to what you buy with your hard earned money prior to buying anything which costs more than $100. there are tons of pictures on this board and other places which show close-ups of the pros racquets and there are huge, detailed discussion which breakdown the differences between the stick the pro has and the stock model he or she endorses (the grommets, the painted on cortex, the perimeter weighting system plainly visible, the stringing pattern, etc.). there have also been stringing logs posted (iirc) some of which list the weight of different pros racquets (a number of which are different than the sticks they "endorse"). we all understand that lead tape and silicone can be added after the fact but if the issue at hand is "manufacturers should sell the exact racquet the pros use" then it the retail version has to weight exactly the same. if it did, i think more people would actually stop buying the pros' sticks because is there a 2.5 in the free world who wants to hit with a 14 oz.+ stick with no power and small sweetspot 15-20 hours a week?

    the problem is that every company who sells something lies about their product in one way or another. car companies often overestimate mpg of their cars. as was mentioned, jeff gordon isn't racing the same chevy available right now on the local dealer's lot for 0% financing for 60 months. in the past everyone understood that and lived with it because it was better for the sport (the auto builders pumped mucho deniro into nascar), not unlike the money racquet manufacturers throw at the top players on the atp and wta. if you believe that racquet manufacturers shouldn't be allow to use top pros to market racquets they don't actually play with, then are you okay if these same companies take their money and go home? if you're a junior, are you okay not having a racquet sponsorship because babolat woke up one morning and decided "no point in signing all these jrs. because even if they go pro, we can't sell racquets that just look like theirs anymore"?
     
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  36. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    I buy what TW Chris is using, PD > PB mid10 > Prestige MP > C10

    Hope I don't have to play with a Gamma 105 next.
     
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  37. ProRadTour

    ProRadTour Rookie

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    Why don't manufacturer's actually make the pro stock rackets available to the public but charge a reasonable amount more than the retail frame?

    Guys pay large sums of money for ex pro stock rackets floating around on the internet. The manufacturer's are actually missing out on potential revenue here.

    The tennis retailers would also benefit from selling the base pro stock frames as their racket matching and modification work would increase. The general public would still buy the latest paint job rackets, they only guys really interested in the pro stock frames are hardcore tennis fans, which would probably be 5% of the tennis buying market.

    Players can still endorse the retail frame with the same paint job, but for the enthusiast they could buy the same base frame and modify it how they see fit.

    This way the manufacturer's can honestly say you can buy the same frame the pro uses. They still make money either way, and it's just a lot more of an honest business model. The way I see it with this approach everyone wins.
     
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  38. gavan55

    gavan55 New User

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    I wouldn't mind these companies selling the pros' "painted" racquets. ie Nadal's APD original with 2013 cosmetics - complete with painted on cortex.
     
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  39. president.s

    president.s Rookie

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    BECAUSE THEY ARE FOR PROS!! they play tennis professionaly. They don't modify their rackets just for bragging to each other. They do it beacause it's their PROFESSION. What do you think Head cares about more? About Whether Murray makes it to the final of Wimbledon using and promoting at the same time the paintjob of Radical Pro or about some guys who are arguing about whether the Radical Pro is actually used by Murray?? What do you think is more profitable for Head? About 100.000.000 Radical Pros that are sold retail or about 1000 PT57A's? And BTW HEAD is not going to make any profit from the modification of the Pro stocks.. Even for top Pros, P1 is the one that makes money from the modifications.. Not HEAD and WIlson etc
    Why don't we make such fuss about the shoes?? Why don't we ask Adidas to sell to the public the special insole of Murray's shoe??
     
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  40. blitzmage_89

    blitzmage_89 Rookie

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    Well you have these options:

    Option 1 : Say something like "New Nano-Carbon Tech 2.0" when in reality it's just an old Prostaff.

    Option 2: Brand it as a "2011 Federer Prostaff" or "2013 Federer Prostaff"

    Option 3: Offer a completely different racket with the same paintjob as the pros are using.

    Option 1 is plain deceptive. You'll be open for lawsuits. Option 2 is not marketable. People will eventually figure out that you're just changing the paintjob. It's not a compelling reason for people to buy new racquets.

    This isn't isolated to tennis. I remember reading somewhere that ASICS has a separate facility in Japan specially catering to Japanese National athletes. The fact that they have a separate facility simply means that the manufacturing and the materials are different. You can't expect Tiger Woods to use the same clubs you are using as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
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  41. ProRadTour

    ProRadTour Rookie

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    To be honest I don't really care all that much. But it is a source of endless discussion. It would be good to make them available to the public, most will probably realize that it an absolute pain in the *** to customize a hairpin to your preferred specs. They will just go back to demoing and buying something off the shelf that works for them without modifying. Most people I think want to use something that looks exactly like their favorite pros racket.

    I know the racket manufacture's won't make money from the mods. The tennis retailers would, which is good for them. Gives retailers an opportunity to make more money for services as opposed to just flipping frames and relying exclusively on selling new paint jobs every two years. If I owned a tennis store I would welcome something like this.

    In regards to the paint jobs for the pro stocks, I think they should be the classic paint job. The pro's endorse the retail frame, but if the consumer forked over the premium price for the pro stock it would be in the original paint scheme, i.e Head Pro Tour for the PT57A, Prestige Classic for the PT10 etc. Or the pro stocks could be blacked out. They can't be the same as the retail frame endorsed by the PRO. Or maybe the manufacturer produces a basic classic paint scheme that is totally different from the retail models. Or they could offer the pro stock mold in various paint scheme of previous classic releases, for example with the PT57A could have options for paint schemes such as the bumblebee, candycane, i.prestige. I don't know, bit of rant but it seems like a cool idea to me.
     
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  42. president.s

    president.s Rookie

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    Totally agree...

    I agree with your thought but you gave the answer yourself. It's all about paintjobs, marketing and sales. When Murray plays under Radical paintjob "he makes sales" in all radical line. Radical S, OS that mainly are used mostly by recreational players that don't buy many rackets and don't change rackets so often. But if Head change him to Pro tour the radical line gets lost and they need to start produsing lighter Pro tours and oversizes...
     
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  43. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    There was a Pro Tour Oversize. It was called the Pro Tour 690. But Murray should be using the paint job of the Prestige and Berdych should be in the Radical paint job......
     
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  44. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Its because the majority of people choose rackets by what their favourite pro uses rather than whats best suited for their game. They're living in a fantasy world, but you know what? Who gives a rats *****, its their money, their game, their decision. You can choose to play with whatever racket you want. The ones complaining about mid's not being suitable for club players or mid players thinking they are superior because of the racket they use have some serious inner issues.
    The racket companies are cashing in, in the mean time.
     
    #44
  45. president.s

    president.s Rookie

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    I haven't notice that the 690 was OS. Why do you think that about Murray? I think that his name is kind of "connected" to the the Radical (modern age of course). You mean now that Soderling is out?
     
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  46. TimothyO

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    If a factory in China puts a Head logo on a frame and sells it as a Head but it's not really a Head, then you're fine with that.

    Essentially these companies are selling their own "fakes". They're claiming that the frame's baseline characteristics are the same as those used by pro but they're not.

    As for claiming that PJs are used in competition go read TW's review of the Graphene Speed 18x20. The claim it's the frame Djoker used to win the AO.

    "Puffery" is allowed under the law.

    Lying is not.
     
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  47. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    But those who make a buying decision based on the claims of the manufacturers are not making INFORMED decisions.

    They're being lied to by the likes of Head, Wilson, Babolat, and even our dear TW.
     
    #47
  48. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    While people should not buy a racket based on what player uses it. The racket companies should not be allowed to be deceptive. Heck why do you think Wilson does not give Federer a racket with a totally different paint scheme that is not available to the public? Because they hope people will want to play with his racket. Err the racket he does not play with but one that they want the public to buy that looks like his racket.....
     
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  49. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    I think vs is suggesting that the Prestige is the closest thing to what he actually uses. The PT 630 essentially evolved into the Prestige MP. Drilled for 16x19, Prestige Pro would be the right choice of paint, not Radical Pro.

    Of course this conundrum is the result of questionable marketing decision piled on top of questionable marketing decision. Each of these may have made sense at the time, but seen as a whole it's a disaster. Just look at Head players currently in the top ten.

    1. Djokovic using old Radical painted as Speed.
    2. Murray using (essentially) old Prestige painted as Radical.
    6. Berdych using relatively new Radical painted as Instinct.
    9. Gasquet using old Instinct painted as Extreme.

    What a total trainwreck.
     
    #49
  50. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    Miss the PT690. The Radical OS is just useless without modifications. About the endorsement part, you're right, it would make more sense from the tennis point of view. From the salesman point of view the radical bright orange color is more appealing to teenagers with modern baseline game, and that's the reason why Murray uses that PJ. Prestige fits better allcourt types like Haas (perfect match the prestige if you ask me). If Federer was endorsed by Head he would be endorsing the prestige line, that's for sure.
     
    #50

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