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is she still using prince??
stupidos_90
#1 Posted : Friday, September 17, 2010 10:23:25 AM(UTC)
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i realised her racket didn't have the "P" logo when she played in the US Open? kinda weird for me though..
paul_pipkin
#13 Posted : Friday, September 17, 2010 10:55:23 AM(UTC)
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I don't think so, which is why the racquet is unmarked. Somebody said something about what it actually is, but I've forgotten.
"That's the way the world works... right now." --Maria Sharapova at 17
stupidos_90
#17 Posted : Friday, September 17, 2010 11:30:11 AM(UTC)
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but she still carry the prince bag right?
paul_pipkin
#14 Posted : Friday, September 17, 2010 11:57:50 AM(UTC)
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I think so. She still endorses Prince products. This is not unusual. There are usually a few players with unmarked equipment--same situation.

"That's the way the world works... right now." --Maria Sharapova at 17
CROUCHING TIGER
#5 Posted : Friday, September 17, 2010 1:09:49 PM(UTC)
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[quote user="stupidos_90"]but she still carry the prince bag right?[/quote] She doesn't stop singin' about "Purple Rain"[8]


WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD
M-Lover
#10 Posted : Saturday, September 18, 2010 6:27:58 AM(UTC)
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I heard Maria is using a racket from another manufacturer. That's why the racket is unmarked. Her endorsment with Prince makes her still use Prince bag.
COUNT_ZERO
#2 Posted : Sunday, September 19, 2010 5:56:21 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="M-Lover"]I heard Maria is using a racket from another manufacturer. That's why the racket is unmarked. Her endorsment with Prince makes her still use Prince bag.[/quote]

 At 5:47 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Maria Sharapova took the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to play her first round match against Jarmila Groth. She was carrying two bags. One, a Nike Cole Haan designer bag. The other? A bag with the words “Prince” on it.

Maria Sharapova
Getty Images
Maria Sharapova

There was nothing strange about either bag. But there was something different about what the 23-year-old took out of the Prince bag. You see, the company’s most marketable tennis player –- who has what is termed as a “lifetime deal” -- wasn’t playing with a Prince racket that you can actually buy on the shelves.

 

Whether she was playing with a disguised competitor’s racket or something Prince has made for her remains a mystery, but what is clear is that Sharapova hasn’t played with a racket whose strings are stenciled with the company’s famous “P” since March.

While a consumer might not notice the difference, insiders in the business are abuzz about the change because of the stakes involved. Sharapova’s deal, signed in 2006, was reported as a 10-year, $25 million deal.

Stringers and tennis geeks guess the frame of Sharapova’s racket is made by Head. One online message board said it was definitely Head’s YouTek Radical, while one stringer told CNBC that his best guess is that it’s a Head Prestige due to the eight string holes in the throat of the racket and the very thin frame profile. The stringer, who asked for anonymity, said that it appears like Sharapova’s team has had some custom strips placed over the clamshell stringing strip that closes over the strings as the racket is strung to further disguise that she is using a competitor’s racket.

Tennis players have long had a love-hate relationship with the rackets they use, and marketing deals make the game even more complex. Some players are marketing one racket while simultaneously playing with another; other players aren’t even playing with the brand that they say they are.

Tomas Berdych played in the Wimbledon finals against Rafael Nadal this year. He came out onto the court with a Dunlop bag, but pulled out Head rackets. Berdych wasn’t even coy about it. Close up pictures could show the words “HEAD” on the racket frame. He’s still playing with Head rackets, even though he’s listed on the Dunlop Web site as an endorser.

Then there’s the story of Fernando Verdasco, also paid by Dunlop, but was playing with an old Technifibre stick. Perhaps because of some pressure, Verdasco went back to the Dunlop racket as indicated on his strings, but after a series of bad losses including a first-round Wimbledon exit to Fabio Fognini, Verdasco was back at the US Open Tuesday with an unstenciled racket again. This time, he beat Fognini in five sets.

Even though it appears like Sharapova has been using the very same racket since the switch, Prince officials suggest that she’s trying a variety of rackets in order to help the company with future initiatives.

“Sharapova has agreed to participate in a very innovative, pioneering product development program with Prince,” the company said in a statement provided to CNBC. “She will be using some experimental frames over the next few months in practice and in competition. We are well aware that some of the frames she may be using may include racquets that Prince does not carry in its current line. That is part of our program. During this phase of experimentation, she may or may not stencil, but she is a Prince contracted player. We are using one of our marquee athletes to play test, under match conditions, products to help future offerings.”

While Prince officials admit Sharapova might not be playing with a racket available in retail stores, they continue to use her to market the Prince EXO3 Black, which is the fourth best selling racket at US pro specialty shops this quarter.

So here’s the essential question. How long with this testing go on and is it possible that, at some point, Prince and Sharapova have to go their separate ways? Prince officials told the media that James Blake, who had switched from Dunlop to Prince in Dec. 2005, was working with them to develop new equipment when he was spotted using his old Dunlop. But after 18 months, Blake and Prince parted ways after the American tennis star had a hard time getting use to the company’s O3 technology. Blake returned to Dunlop.

Questions?  Comments?  SportsBiz@cnbc.com

© 2010 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved
COUNT_ZERO
#3 Posted : Sunday, September 19, 2010 6:09:41 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="COUNT_ZERO"]

[quote user="M-Lover"]I heard Maria is using a racket from another manufacturer. That's why the racket is unmarked. Her endorsment with Prince makes her still use Prince bag.[/quote]

 At 5:47 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Maria Sharapova took the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to play her first round match against Jarmila Groth. She was carrying two bags. One, a Nike Cole Haan designer bag. The other? A bag with the words “Prince” on it.

Maria Sharapova
Getty Images
Maria Sharapova

There was nothing strange about either bag. But there was something different about what the 23-year-old took out of the Prince bag. You see, the company’s most marketable tennis player –- who has what is termed as a “lifetime deal” -- wasn’t playing with a Prince racket that you can actually buy on the shelves.

 

Whether she was playing with a disguised competitor’s racket or something Prince has made for her remains a mystery, but what is clear is that Sharapova hasn’t played with a racket whose strings are stenciled with the company’s famous “P” since March.

While a consumer might not notice the difference, insiders in the business are abuzz about the change because of the stakes involved. Sharapova’s deal, signed in 2006, was reported as a 10-year, $25 million deal.

Stringers and tennis geeks guess the frame of Sharapova’s racket is made by Head. One online message board said it was definitely Head’s YouTek Radical, while one stringer told CNBC that his best guess is that it’s a Head Prestige due to the eight string holes in the throat of the racket and the very thin frame profile. The stringer, who asked for anonymity, said that it appears like Sharapova’s team has had some custom strips placed over the clamshell stringing strip that closes over the strings as the racket is strung to further disguise that she is using a competitor’s racket.

Tennis players have long had a love-hate relationship with the rackets they use, and marketing deals make the game even more complex. Some players are marketing one racket while simultaneously playing with another; other players aren’t even playing with the brand that they say they are.

Tomas Berdych played in the Wimbledon finals against Rafael Nadal this year. He came out onto the court with a Dunlop bag, but pulled out Head rackets. Berdych wasn’t even coy about it. Close up pictures could show the words “HEAD” on the racket frame. He’s still playing with Head rackets, even though he’s listed on the Dunlop Web site as an endorser.

Then there’s the story of Fernando Verdasco, also paid by Dunlop, but was playing with an old Technifibre stick. Perhaps because of some pressure, Verdasco went back to the Dunlop racket as indicated on his strings, but after a series of bad losses including a first-round Wimbledon exit to Fabio Fognini, Verdasco was back at the US Open Tuesday with an unstenciled racket again. This time, he beat Fognini in five sets.

Even though it appears like Sharapova has been using the very same racket since the switch, Prince officials suggest that she’s trying a variety of rackets in order to help the company with future initiatives.

“Sharapova has agreed to participate in a very innovative, pioneering product development program with Prince,” the company said in a statement provided to CNBC. “She will be using some experimental frames over the next few months in practice and in competition. We are well aware that some of the frames she may be using may include racquets that Prince does not carry in its current line. That is part of our program. During this phase of experimentation, she may or may not stencil, but she is a Prince contracted player. We are using one of our marquee athletes to play test, under match conditions, products to help future offerings.”

While Prince officials admit Sharapova might not be playing with a racket available in retail stores, they continue to use her to market the Prince EXO3 Black, which is the fourth best selling racket at US pro specialty shops this quarter.

So here’s the essential question. How long with this testing go on and is it possible that, at some point, Prince and Sharapova have to go their separate ways? Prince officials told the media that James Blake, who had switched from Dunlop to Prince in Dec. 2005, was working with them to develop new equipment when he was spotted using his old Dunlop. But after 18 months, Blake and Prince parted ways after the American tennis star had a hard time getting use to the company’s O3 technology. Blake returned to Dunlop.

Questions?  Comments?  SportsBiz@cnbc.com

© 2010 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved
[/quote]

 

from what i know is that Maria is testing with Prince a new racket ( the rackets that she is using in training here at IMG in Florida as well as in official competition is a custom Prince racket that u can't find in the stores.... the racket has Masha name on the side  and it's stringed with no Prince logo.. also Masha is using customs frames with no logo on the side.. Prince will release the model at the end of this year so till then we have to wait.... the situation right now is the same as with car makers when they test a new car :)

Philli
#16 Posted : Monday, September 20, 2010 2:45:23 AM(UTC)
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Well if that's the case, so far all experiments have failed.  Maybe she should try experimenting with a new shoulder.
mashadabest
#8 Posted : Monday, September 20, 2010 11:02:15 AM(UTC)
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What I don't understand is if Maria is using a Head racquet, why the hell would Head let her use it, whilst disguising the fact that she is doing so?  Wouldn't they take her to court or take Prince to court? [:^)] I mean using a Head racquet while disguising it as a Prince racquet or whatever doesn't sound legal to me. [:S]
paul_pipkin
#15 Posted : Monday, September 20, 2010 11:28:27 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="mashadabest"]What I don't understand is if Maria is using a Head racquet, why the hell would Head let her use it, whilst disguising the fact that she is doing so?  Wouldn't they take her to court or take Prince to court? [:^)] I mean using a Head racquet while disguising it as a Prince racquet or whatever doesn't sound legal to me. [:S]
[/quote]


She's not disguising it as Prince. The racquet is simply anonymous--generic. Her contract with Prince doesn't prohibit her from using other equipment--just to endorse only Prince, see? As for Head (IF it's their's), they can't oblige her to advertise for them unless they contracted her to do so. Same as you--you buy a racquet retail, you can paint it any way you want, keep or remove logos, etc.

"That's the way the world works... right now." --Maria Sharapova at 17
mashadabest
#9 Posted : Monday, September 20, 2010 11:40:18 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="paul_pipkin"]

[quote user="mashadabest"]What I don't understand is if Maria is using a Head racquet, why the hell would Head let her use it, whilst disguising the fact that she is doing so?  Wouldn't they take her to court or take Prince to court? [:^)] I mean using a Head racquet while disguising it as a Prince racquet or whatever doesn't sound legal to me. [:S]
[/quote]


She's not disguising it as Prince. The racquet is simply anonymous--generic. Her contract with Prince doesn't prohibit her from using other equipment--just to endorse only Prince, see? As for Head (IF it's their's), they can't oblige her to advertise for them unless they contracted her to do so. Same as you--you buy a racquet retail, you can paint it any way you want, keep or remove logos, etc.

[/quote]

Ahhh right okay, thanks Paul. [:)]

COUNT_ZERO
#4 Posted : Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2:41:14 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="mashadabest"][quote user="paul_pipkin"]

[quote user="mashadabest"]What I don't understand is if Maria is using a Head racquet, why the hell would Head let her use it, whilst disguising the fact that she is doing so?  Wouldn't they take her to court or take Prince to court? [:^)] I mean using a Head racquet while disguising it as a Prince racquet or whatever doesn't sound legal to me. [:S]
[/quote]

She's not disguising it as Prince. The racquet is simply anonymous--generic. Her contract with Prince doesn't prohibit her from using other equipment--just to endorse only Prince, see? As for Head (IF it's their's), they can't oblige her to advertise for them unless they contracted her to do so. Same as you--you buy a racquet retail, you can paint it any way you want, keep or remove logos, etc.

[/quote]

Ahhh right okay, thanks Paul. [:)]

[/quote]

 Guys interesting notes on the subject :).... but i can tell u that she is using a Prince racket with no logo on it .. the frames are for the new model of Prince that will be announced by the end of this year (that's what rumors go around here @ IMG) ....and yes the frame looks like a Head one but it's not .... All there is to say it's that she is still using Prince  and not Head. :)

M-Lover
#11 Posted : Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:37:43 AM(UTC)
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[quote user="COUNT_ZERO"] Guys interesting notes on the subject :).... but i can tell u that she is using a Prince racket with no logo on it .. the frames are for the new model of Prince that will be announced by the end of this year (that's what rumors go around here @ IMG) ....and yes the frame looks like a Head one but it's not .... All there is to say it's that she is still using Prince  and not Head. :)[/quote]


I hardly believe her using a Prince racket without the Prince logo, even for a prototype. No marketing people would hide their company's logo when they have the right to use it on Maria's equipment designed by Prince. It's more logic to think the racket is not from Prince, that's why the logo should be covered up. Maybe Prince is trying a new racket for Sharapova and they are testing a frame made by Head or another company. The pratice of testing competitor's products before making its own is very common. I think Prince wants to make a similar racket with better performances.

CROUCHING TIGER
#6 Posted : Wednesday, September 22, 2010 6:13:54 AM(UTC)
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If she still using Prince she will need her head of course[8-|]


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M-Lover
#12 Posted : Wednesday, September 22, 2010 6:52:03 AM(UTC)
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If she overuses her head, she could lose her prince.[:P]
CROUCHING TIGER
#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:53:17 AM(UTC)
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Hard one, that Prince[A]


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