Originally Posted by cork_screw
Players aren't *leaving* Nike, they're getting dropped. Nobody leaves an extra paycheck. Nike pays very well, better than other companies. Maybe Nike wants to focus on other sports. Maybe Nike thinks it has too many sponsored players who aren't making them a return in endorsements. Maybe Nike doesn't want to endorse someone in the outside top 20 because they feel whether they are there or whether they are not won't make a difference in the amount of money Nike is investing in them. Nike is a very smart company, they don't just stumble and make mistakes. Nike is in charge here, not the players.
"Somebody got 'let go.' - you mean "fired" - 'let go' is a euphemism. Be realistic and use logic.
look at who they've dropped...
...donald young, bird-man (berdych), julia gorges, and a bunch more i'm forgetting (feel free to add them). now look at their results for 2012. the only record dy came close to breaking was number of first round loses, berdych maxed out as a sf @ uso and qf @ oz (and got bounced from w in the 1st rnd) while winning minor titles in montpellier and stockholm. gorges was ru in linz and dubai in 2012 and made it to the 4th rd @ ao, 3rd rd @ the french, 3rd rd @ w and got bounced in the first round @ uso.
out of these 3, berdych definately had the best 2012 results but there's such a log-jam at the top of nike's men's roster that he was prolly odd man out.
conversely, here's who nike kept: fed (w champ, ao @ fo sf, uso qf), rafa ( fo champ, ao sf), serena (w & uso champ, 4th rd ao, 1st rd fo), masha (fo champ, ru @ ao, 4th rd @ w, sf @ uso), vika (champ @ ao, ru @ uso, 4th rd @ fo, sf @ w).
you can say that nike is shifting emphasis away from tennis or you can say nike cut loose some dead weight.