After an exciting tournament season, the pro tennis world is descending on New York City at the end of August for the final Grand Slam of 2019: the U.S. Open, which will be held Aug. 26 to Sept. 8 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.
In the lead-up to the event, top brands including Adidas, Asics, Fila, K-Swiss and Lacoste are unveiling new performance shoe and apparel collections, and prepping special retail pop-ups and consumer activations to share the excitement with fans.
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Read on for all the details about these U.S. Open initiatives.
Fila Pops Up
One of the biggest comeback story in tennis this season hasn’t been an athlete; it’s been Fila, which is the sponsor of the No. 1 and 3-ranked women on the circuit, as well as two of America’s best male talents: John Isner and Sam Querrey. To celebrate its resurgence, Fila will host an on-site retail shop at the Billie Jean King Center for the first time in two decades.
The 1,900-square-foot space will be located in the Grandstand near the South Gate and will be stocked with a selection of apparel and footwear, including the Axilus 2 Energized performance sneaker that Fila’s players will wear in competition. Also available will be a selection of looks from the latest installment of the P.L. Rolando apparel line.
All year, the brand has been honoring its original creative director, Pierluigi Rolando, by releasing collections, each timed with a major tournament, that take inspiration from Rolando’s early sketches.
And since the U.S. Open is the final Grand Slam of the season, Fila is spreading the word about this final collection with a pop-up shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to be held Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 — the weekend before the tournament. Guests should fire up their Instagram for this pop-up, which will feature a coloring book mural with P.L. Rolando campaign illustrations and a multimedia archive gallery wall. Plus, guests can entertain themselves with a game of table tennis or Italian drinks and snacks at the “Backhand Bar.”
Mr. Number 1
Iconic tennis brand Lacoste scored a big win two years ago, when it signed Novak Djokovic as its apparel ambassador. The No. 1-ranked athlete continues to dominate on the circuit and is heading into the U.S. Open with two Grand Slam titles under his belt for this year alone (Wimbledon and the Australian Open).
At the matches in Queens, Djokovic will wear a cobalt blue Lacoste polo with black and white details, paired with black shorts. For footwear, he favors his Asics Court FF 2 signature sneaker.
K-Swiss has been making a bigger swing for the tennis market, and its efforts have paid off. Since the beginning of the year, it has jumped up one slot to take the No. 2 position in the brick-and-mortar tennis specialty market, according to the Tennis Industry Association/Sports Marketing Survey.
To celebrate the 2019 U.S. Open, the brand has unveiled the Empire State Pack, composed of three of its premium court styles: the Aero Knit, the lightest performance tennis shoe in K-Swiss history, retailing for $160; the durable Ultrashot 2, made for a younger tournament-level player at $135; and the Hypercourt Express, the tennis industry’s #1 sell-through model, available for $110.
The shoes have all been updated in colors that can be seen in the evening at New York’s iconic Empire State Building. For instance, the men’s looks are offered in combinations of black and lollipop-red, while the women’s range comes in shades of gray and light coral. They are available now at Kswiss.com, as well as at specialty retailers and authorized online partners.
New York State of Mind
When it came to designing the apparel and footwear for its athletes participating in the U.S. Open, Adidas turned to the Big Apple for inspiration.
The brand’s latest pro line, which will be worn in competition by Garbiñe Muguruza, Alexander Zverev, Angelique Kerber, Dominic Thiem, Caroline Wozniacki and more, is aptly named the NY Collection. It takes cues from the city streets, particularly with its neon and black color scheme, which runs from head to toe, even on the brand’s performance sneaker, the Adidas SoleCourt, with Boost cushioning.
Meanwhile, outside the tournament at its Fifth Avenue flagship, Adidas will offer tennis fans special perks, such as complimentary racket stringing, shoe customizations and exclusive giveaways, if they make a purchase from the U.S. Open collection.
Court Is in Session
Asics will be drumming up major tennis excitement this month at its flagship on Fifth Avenue in New York. Starting Aug. 22 and throughout the U.S. Open, customers at the store can practice their skills on a mini tennis court, which will host training drills and games that come with the chance to earn prizes.
The shop also will host a special event on Aug. 23 with four Asics-sponsored pros: French star Gaël Monfils, Julia Görges of Germany, Australian Alex de Minaur and Shuai Zhang of China, who are all starring in the brand’s latest ad campaign, dubbed “Play the Unplayable.” At the evening event, to be held from 7:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., the athletes will participate in a Q&A session and will be available for autograph signing and photos with fans.
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