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Roger Federer Is UNIQLO’S New Global Brand Ambassador

UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, announced a partnership with Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of all-time and one of the world’s most influential and universally admired people, as its newest Global Brand Ambassador. The new partnership means that Mr. Federer will represent UNIQLO at all tennis tournaments throughout the year, starting with The Championships, Wimbledon 2018.

Commenting on the announcement, Tadashi Yanai, UNIQLO Founder and Chairman, President & CEO of Fast Retailing, said, “Mr. Federer is one of the greatest champions in history; my respect for him goes beyond sport. Our partnership will be about innovation on and off court. We share a goal of making positive change in the world, and I hope together we can bring the highest quality of life to the greatest number of people. UNIQLO will help Mr. Federer continue taking tennis to new places, while exploring innovations in a number of areas including technology and design with him.”

Mr. Federer said, “I am deeply committed to tennis and to winning championships. But like UNIQLO, I also have great love for life, culture and humanity. We share a strong passion to have a positive impact on the world around us and look forward to combining our creative endeavors.”

UNIQLO enters the partnership inspired by the past accomplishments of Mr. Federer and his previous partners. While respectful of new standards they set together, UNIQLO is not a sports company. UNIQLO describes itself as a life company that creates LifeWear, thoughtful everyday apparel with a practical sense of beauty, and constantly improved through craftsmanship and technology. With today’s announcement, LifeWear has a new champion.

Design
Roger Federer’s game wear for Wimbledon 2018 was designed at the UNIQLO Paris R&D Center, led by Artistic Director Christophe Lemaire. Instead of the classic polo shirt or crewneck style collar, UNIQLO reflected Roger Federer’s preference for a short stand-up collar to emphasize a more sophisticated look both on and off court. The design of the shirt and shorts is accented by a burgundy color line – incorporated at the edge of the sleeves and the front panel of the shirt, and down the sides of the shorts – to highlight the company’s corporate color, especially at the launch of the partnership.

Highly Functional Dry EX Material Trusted by Top Athletes
Jointly developed by UNIQLO and Toray Industries, Dry EX features a special arched structure that dries faster than ordinary dry function material, preventing the steamy and sticky feeling due to perspiration and keeping a comfortable feel during play. The raised structure is well suited to the strenuous movements of tennis. Highly breathable mesh has been used in areas that accumulate sweat, helping to avoid overheating and allowing the athletes to be at their very best during competition.

The UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassador Program
UNIQLO partners with world-leading people to promote its brand and LifeWear globally. Reflecting core UNIQLO values, Global Brand Ambassadors embrace challenge in pursuit of the highest possible achievement. They are universally admired for their integrity and character, and for the optimism, respect and humility they demonstrate to all.

UNIQLO combines the expert professional insight of its Global Brand Ambassadors with its most advanced proprietary technologies, creating apparel that supports human performance at the highest level, while also bringing greater comfort and functionality to the everyday lives of its customers. In addition, UNIQLO works with its brand ambassadors to promote community engagement and development initiatives around the world.

In addition to Roger Federer, the UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassadors today are Kei Nishikori (Tennis), Shingo Kunieda and Gordon Reid MBE (Wheelchair Tennis) and Adam Scott (Golf).

Read more about Roger Federer in the book “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559378/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_IbKoBb75RHFM0 via @amazon

Novak Djokovic greets fans at NYC UNIQLO

By Andrea Lubinksky

On Wednesday morning, Novak Djokovic teamed up with UNIQLO CEO Shin Odake and Creative Direcor Naoki Takizawa to give the press a look at his new tennis apparel line. First, Odake explained how appointing Djokovic global brand ambassador is a key part of breaking into the US and global markets. Then the guest of honor joined Odake on stage to talk about his US Open kit and his partnership with the company. Creative Director Takizawa discussed his inspiration for the line, saying, “the national flag of Serbia inspired me when I was thinking about the color and design of his match wear. In particular, I was inspired by the shapes of the wings of the eagles that are on the flag, and with this in mind I began to draw lines in his match wear.” Djokovic demonstrated some of the more unique aspects of his US Open kit, which features a quick open zipper on the jacket and towel lined pockets.

 

Following the press conference, Djokovic hosted a photo session with fans, some of whom had waited in line for several hours. The 30 minute session started at 10:10am and by 10:40am, the line was still wrapped around the building and most of the way down 53rd Street. Excited fans were thrilled to get their photo taken with the tennis star. Some lucky fans got an autograph or a hug with their photo. The star was very accommodating. Djokovic’s longtime girlfriend, Jelena Ristic, even got in on the photographer action, snapping a few photos on her phone throughout the session.

The new collection features polo shirts and shorts in white, blue, navy, as well as track suits in white and navy. Prices range from $49.90 to $89.90 and the clothes will be available beginning August 27th at all three New York stores. All photos from Wednesday’s event are available on the UNIQLO USA Facebook page.

UNIQLO appoints Novak Djokovic as global brand ambassador

May 23, 2012, Paris, France – UNIQLO today announces that it has appointed Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked male professional tennis player, as its global brand ambassador. The five-year partnership, which takes effect from today, will see Djokovic promoting the UNIQLO brand and UNIQLO clothing worldwide. The partnership will also include collaboration on future product lines, as well as co-developing the ultimate UNIQLO functional wear.

A preview of the collaboration’s first results will be seen at this year’s Roland-Garros French Open Tennis Tournament that starts on May 27, where Djokovic will debut his newly designed UNIQLO match wear to spectators in Paris and to a worldwide TV audience. 

Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President & CEO of leading global Japanese retailer Fast Retailing, commented on today’s announcement saying, “We are extremely pleased to have Novak Djokovic become UNIQLO’s global brand ambassador. We will use the most innovative fabrics and technologies to develop match wear that can contribute to the performance of a globally recognized and respected sports person like Novak. At the same time, UNIQLO will incorporate latest fabrics and technologies to co-develop with him the ultimate functional apparel that can be worn, and enjoyed, by people all over the world.”

Yanai added, “UNIQLO and Novak share a common, mutual desire to improve people’s lives and contribute to society. In addition to creating truly great clothing with new and unique value, Fast Retailing takes to heart our mission to enrich people’s lives through unique corporate activities and to grow our company in unity with society. We look forward to collaborating with Novak on a number of corporate social responsibility programs around the world.”

Novak Djokovic, commenting on today’s announcement said, “I am honored, and also very excited, to have been appointed as the UNIQLO global brand ambassador. UNIQLO is a cool brand with strong roots in Japan, a country whose culture and way of life I respect. I have a personal philosophy which I call ‘Be Unique,’ and this is based on my strong passion, drive and eagerness to keep improving myself. I am passionate about being the best possible tennis player, as well as the best possible person, and I have a continuous desire to help people, especially children, who have been less fortunate than I.”

Djokovic added, “I feel a natural connection with UNIQLO. To me, UNIQLO is not fast fashion, and it’s not sports wear. UNIQLO is the ultimate functional wear, which is exactly what I need as both a sports person and an individual who leads a very active life. I look forward to collaborating with UNIQLO in the development of new products and to getting to know the global UNIQLO family better.”

In launching the new partnership between UNIQLO and Novak Djokovic today, UNIQLO confirms that as its first corporate social responsibility activity it will manufacture a custom-designed charity UT (UNIQLO T-shirt) to sell at a select number of UNIQLO stores and online. Proceeds from the sale of this UT will be donated to the Novak Djokovic Foundation to support children’s programs. Details regarding the design of the UT, as well as timing and location of sale will be announced in due course.

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About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing

UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co. (FR), a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under five brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, g.u., Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO. With global sales of 820 billion yen for the 2011 fiscal year ending August 31, 2011, FR is the world’s fourth largest apparel retail company and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.

Today UNIQLO has more than 1,100 stores worldwide, namely in the U.S., U.K. France, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Korea, as well as Japan. UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world’s most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. UNIQLO operates an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel in line with its ‘Made for All’ philosophy.

With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, FR is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and other FR group companies, please visit www.uniqlo.com or www.fastretailing.com

Novak Djokovic splits with Sergio Tacchini as Serbia Open in jeopardy

By Romana Cvitkovic

Novak Djokovic’s latest venture includes an “amicable” split with clothing sponsor Sergio Tacchini and a new deal with Japanese brand UNIQLO which will be made official in Paris on Wednesday. Chatter surrounding the decline of the Serbia Open tennis tournament is also surfacing as tournament director Goran Djokovic is set to resign, also putting up the sale of the tournament license starting in 2013. Get the full scoop below.

Novak Djokovic splits with Sergio Tacchini, signs with UNIQLO

Novak Djokovic signed a 10-year deal with clothing brand Sergio Tacchini in November 2009, but as announced today by Danielle Rossingh of Bloomberg News, the two have decided to part ways early as Djokovic has “outgrown” the brand. At the time of signing, Djokovic had reached world number four and had only one slam under his belt. Since then, he has climbed to number one and won four more slams, and gone on one of the most remarkable winning runs in sport landing him in TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012.
A spokesperson for Tacchini released the following statement: “It has been mutually and amicably decided that, as of the 2012 Roland Garros Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic will no longer be the brand ambassador.” It is reported that an announcement will be made on Wednesday in Paris to disclose a new sponsorship deal between Djokovic and Japanese clothing company UNIQLO, for which their current ambassador is tennis player Kei Nishikori.

In 2010, Djokovic won only two tournaments which was in stark contrast to his ten titles the following year. Signing a European player as an ambassador for a company recovering from bankruptcy was a gamble, but it initially paid off with a boost in sales. However, Djokovic’s success in 2011 seemed to have taken Tacchini by surprise — both because of bonus tournament payouts and because of manufacturing struggles to keep up with demand.

Under the terms of the original deal, Djokovic was to receive “incentive bonuses linked to tournament wins and end-of-year rankings, … a share of all Tacchini revenue from sales in China, and [a share of] worldwide revenue from Djokovic-branded Tacchini products.” 

Things seemed to be looking up back in July of 2011 when after his Wimbledon victory, Djokovic traveled with the owner of Sergio Tacchini, Billy Ngok, and U.S. billionaire businessman Ron Burkle, to Serbia to discuss plans for investment, including a Tacchini plant, in the Niš area. Unfortunately, that trip never developed into anything.

Djokovic’s latest tennis kit in Rome last week was not a big hit with fans and now the answer is clear as to why. The week before in Madrid, he still wore the spring kit and it seems more than likely that his kit in Rome was a strange interpretation of a Serbian flag more than anything else.

Serbia Open in jeopardy as tournament director resigns and tournament license up for sale in 2013

On the heels of Djokovic’s split with Sergio Tacchini, Serbian fans get bad news that the Serbia Open may be no more starting as early as next year. The Djokovic-family driven Serbia Open, an ATP Tour 250-level tournament in the capital of Belgrade, may soon cease to exist. According to Serbian newspaper Novosti, Novak’s uncle and director of the Serbia Open has not only submitted his resignation but also the sale of the tournament license starting in 2013.

The license cites that the dates of the tournament will stay as the first week of May, and as the tournament is currently sandwiched between Monte Carlo and Madrid, that significantly decreases the list of possible buyouts of the rights to the tournament. Several cities are in proposed talks to buy the rights with Spanish cities at the top of the list including Seville, Marbella and even Palma de Mallorca.

After it’s inaugural tournament in 2009 which was won by Djokovic, the tournament stayed mostly relevant as the top Serbs and Croats played, bringing the locals out. 2011 held it’s strongest field ever as the top eight seeds were ranked 37th in the world or better, including three Serbs. However, after the pullout of Djokovic this year due to the passing of his grandfather and the failing of any top Serbs to show up and even play, the tournament experienced a major setback. While the initial weekend of the tournament proved successful as several Serbs played qualifying and two were granted wildcards in the main draw, much of the rest of the tournament lacked luster, fan interest low and international media scarce.

For what is quickly turning into a tennis-loving nation, Serbia may very well be without any tour-level tournament again next year. The inevitable is here and the Serbia Open may soon cease to exist.