Whether fresh or experienced in the world of tennis, you might have witnessed players wearing the same outfit. If you have seen competing teams wear the same colors, keeping track of the match cannot be easy. Another example is seeing a player wear the same outfit at consecutive tournaments. Why is this the case?
Certain professional tennis players receive a sponsor from a sportswear clothing brand. These players then wear the brand’s newest collection during the tournament to promote their product. Additionally, tournaments follow a dress code which also influences the similarity of outfits between players.
Even though the clothing brand does dictate the color and design of a player’s outfit, the company must still follow the strict dress code of tennis tournaments. These dress codes may vary depending on the tournament. So, let us fully discover the characteristics involved in players wearing the same outfit.
Tennis Players And Clothing Brands Sponsorships
Clothing brands will provide distinguished athletes sponsorships to directly promote their products. This contract formed between the company and the player usually lasts for a tournament. This arrangement is why players arrive to matches wearing the same outfit – even opposing teams.
Sportswear brands ceremoniously release four various lines annually, one for each Grand Slam. This system relates to large brands such as Nike and Adidas. Regarding smaller brands, they prefer dealing directly with the player. These clothing lines are designed and finalized up to fifteen months in advance. Some of the most renowned brands within the tennis community include:
The outfit design is often strictly the company’s choice. However, famous tennis stars (Nadal, Federer, and Serena) would receive an exception, contributing directly during the design process. This customization captures the heart of each tennis star’s fans, driving sales to newer heights.
There have been numerous occasions where several players stay with the same brand for consecutive years. Even though brand loyalty is something people believe exists, the reality is that it is all business. There have been recordings of players moving from one brand to another, such as Federer when he shifted from Nike to Uniqlo.
Here are some examples of professional players and their contracts with popular clothing brands.
|From 2019 (10 years)
|From 2015 (5 years)
|Paid Every Year
|From 2018 (3 years)
Benefits Tennis Players Receive From Clothing Brand Sponsors
Choosing an outfit for matches can be quite daunting for players as many factors alter the outcome. Aspects that can affect the final decision include the color of the opponent’s attire, weather conditions, and surface type. A tennis player prioritizes two factors in their sportswear: comfort/performance and looks.
The comfort of the sportswear is mandatory. For players to remain in optimal condition, their clothing must provide smooth movement and breathability. A player’s appearance is also important to their career. If the player appears more marketable, they will, in return, receive more sponsorship offers which equal a higher income.
Tennis players who receive sponsorship from a high-end clothing brand have many of their concerns immediately dealt with. However, there are additional advantages for tennis players that land a special deal with a sponsor.
Maximizes Time Spent Training
After a tournament, a player has ample time before their next set of matches. Tennis is highly competitive for both teams and individuals. This fact is why every second must be spent wisely. A player already having their outfit predetermined and at the ready saves a bunch of time. It also lessens the nerves a player may experience when deciding on match attire.
An outfit from a sponsor provides a common factor to the player’s daily routine, decreasing stress and increasing confidence. These players also save time when packing up after a match. Everything that a player may need is where it needs to be. So, there is no need to waste precious time dressing or unpacking.
Assists With Focus
Focus is essential for a player before a match, and a sponsored outfit removes any additional concerns about their appearance. The process they repeat before every match improves the player’s confidence and comfort. Instead of worrying about apparel, players have the perfect time to consult with their coach, recite strategies, and practice drills.
The providing of an outfit from a sponsor also ensures that the player has the necessary backups should the day of a match be humid. Excessive sweating can leave a player feeling uncomfortable, affecting their performance. Therefore, having a spare to change into (during a match/between matches) greatly improves the focused mindset of any player.
Alleviates The Task Of Packing
When needing to travel to participate in a tournament, the task of packing can be a challenging process. Players must consider their choices carefully when planning their luggage. Their suitcase needs to be light and convenient for travel while maintaining enough space for all necessities.
Many elements could influence how players plan their packing, such as weather, place of residence, activities, and events. Luckily, the outfit sponsorship provides the player with cover for most of these issues, leaving enough space for the player to bring any personal belongings.
Regarding tournament outfits, a player generally packs six to eight pairs scheduled for two weeks of matches. If the location of the tournament takes place in a country prone to hot weather, a player may need to pack even more than eight clothing kits.
All the outfits are the same, making organizing a breeze in the park. The player is constantly prepared for each of their matches without any squandering around for an outfit to wear. Whether sportswear for a hot day or comfortable shoes for a whole day’s worth of playing, a player with a sponsored outfit has no worries.
A player with sponsored sportswear will never have to worry about apparel for practice, matches, or interviews, as it is all preplanned for them. A clear space equals a clear mind, and with most of their outfits and equipment sorted and organized, the player can focus on their matches ahead of them.
When professional tennis players work with popular clothing brands, they receive the opportunity to further expand their marketability. This increase in exposure has many positives that exceed the clothing brand. A great example of the power of marketability is female tennis star, Serena Williams.
Through her partnership with Nike, she represented their clothing in numerous tournaments while also having a clothing line designed after her. However, this snowball to success does not end there. Serena Williams established her own clothing brand, “S by Serena,” and a jewelry line that seeks to accentuate any person’s strong and stylish qualities.
She is also a managing partner of Serena Adventures. Established in 2014, Serena Ventures seeks out championed founders whose perspectives and innovations level the playing field for women and people of color. They furthermore invest in products and ideas that unlock value for investors, doors for founders, and opportunities for everyone to live better.
Do Professional Tennis Players Wear The Same Outfit For The Whole Tournament?
Clothing brand sponsorships ensure that the player they contract with is geared with the best attire and equipment for their tournament. This insurance also includes multiple outfits, which provides the tennis player additional apparel should another outfit become unfitting to play in. This change mostly occurs because of sweating but can also be affected by any damage during matches.
It is a standard practice for tournaments to provide their participants with laundry services to clean their sportswear during their downtime between matches. So, simply put, a tennis player most likely won’t wear the same outfit for a tournament to avoid all unhygienic problems that could harshly affect the player.
The Dress Code Of Tournaments
Like many professional events, tennis tournaments follow a strict dress code to ensure appropriate attire and equipment during important matches. The dress code equally affects both men and women.
However, more leniency was granted to women when the rulebook was updated in 2019. The newly set rules included women being able to wear leggings or mid-thigh compression shorts (with or without a skirt).
Should a player’s outfits go against the rulebook, they will be requested by either the chair umpire or supervisor to change their outfit or equipment. If the player refuses this instruction, the player is subjected to being defaulted or receiving a fine. According to both the women’s WTA Tour and the men’s ATP Tour, the professional appearance of a participant showcases a professional manner.
Another strictly prohibited rule is walking onto the court without a shirt (both men and women). From professional to amateur tennis tournaments or clubs, wearing a shirt is mandatory in every scenario.
The Uniformity Of White At Wimbledon
If you have seen a tennis match on television, you have probably witnessed Wimbledon touch when it comes to their apparel rules. Wimbledon has the most demanding tournament dress code, as each player must wear an outfit that consists of only white clothing. The origins of this peculiar rule date to the 19th century.
White was deemed the most appropriate color as a player’s sweat was less visible with a bright shade than with darker colors. This ruling even extended to undergarments, laces/soles on shoes, and tracksuits that might be visible during the match. These rules also affect clothing brands, as their sponsored player’s outfit must be fully white.
This dress code must be sternly followed during practice sessions or professional matches whenever a player steps onto the Championships courts. However, Wimbledon does provide some freedom regarding the color of the lining or trim of a player’s apparel.
The Difference In Outfits Between Professional And Amateur Tennis
Professional tennis is seen as a prestigious sport. Still, anyone can enjoy it, but there is a difference in outfits regarding the two skill levels. As discussed previously, professional tennis players are more subjected to wearing the same attire due to several aspects (sponsorships, dress codes, trends).
Luckily for amateur players, these strict rules do not apply at your local tennis club, enabling you to wear whatever you like. This provides more creative freedom when expressing oneself through their clothing. However, professionals can still influence amateur players to participate in the trend they began through their sponsorship.
Another piece of outfit you have probably seen regularly is women wearing skirts. Besides looking fashionable, they also provide maximum comfort and movement. For many years, tennis skirts have sewn in compressed shorts that increase players’ freedom when darting around the court. In addition, a skirt creates no restriction enabling all female tennis players to play at peak performance.
Even though the rules book has been updated to allow the wearing of leggings amongst female players, most of them remain with their original dresses or skirts. Skirts also provide excellent breathability, lessening the risk of overheating during a match.
Does Tennis Sportswear Follow Clothing Trends?
Tennis sportswear has greatly influenced fashion development throughout the various decades. So, it would not be unexpected if the outfits of tennis players followed a trend. These trends explain why several participants wore similar outfits during a tournament.
These trends are influential, and the players and clothing brands that promote them broaden the audience from professional to amateur tennis. So, whether attending an international event or a local club match, you could witness players wearing complimentary outfits following the greatest trends during that year.
Tennis is a career for professional players, and it is necessary to have the right attire for the job. Sponsorships and dress codes create uniformity between all players. Hence, seeing players wearing the same outfit during matches or tournaments is not unfamiliar. The simple control of the player’s wardrobe also improves their management and focus before and after any match.