Djokovic signs five-year deal with UNIQLO
Originally published on: 23/05/12 00:00
After ending his association with Sergio Tacchini less than three years into a 10-year sponsorship agreement, Novak Djokovic has signed a five-year deal with Japenese brand Uniqlo.
The agreement will take immediate effect, with the world No. 1 set to debut his new Uniqlo match wear at Roland Garros, where he will begin his bid to become the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four Grand Slams at once on Sunday.
“I am honored, and also very excited, to have been appointed as the Uniqlo global brand ambassador,” said the world No.1, who had “outgrown” Italian sportswear firm Sergio Tacchini. “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.”
To mark the new partnership, Uniqlo has announced that it will manufacture a custom-designed charity T-shirt to sell at a number of Uniqlo stores and online. Proceeds from its sale will be donated to the Novak Djokovic Foundation to support children’s programs.
“I feel a natural connection with Uniqlo,” Djokovic continues. “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.”
The Serb will hope he can go the distance in his new attire at Roland Garros. This time last year, the 25-year-old Belgrade native entered the second Grand Slam without losing a match in the opening half of the season. This year, he arrives in Paris with five defeats to his name – two of which, crucially, have come to six-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.