Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Is Nadal’s Clothing Change Working?


Earlier this year, I applauded Nike’s forcing of Rafael Nadal to change his wardrobe, reasoning that the shoe and apparel company couldn’t sell his outfits at country clubs.

But with Nadal bowing out of the French early, we’re thinking the superstitious 22-year-old might tell his sponsor that he’s just more comfortable showing his guns to the world.

The key question then is: Has Nadal’s change from capris and sleeveless T’s to collared shirts and shorts above the knee paid off?

Even though Nike has put Nadal in teal and pink shirts, Don Hightower, president of online retailer Tennis Warehouse, said they’ve sold well so far.

“And we’ve sold a lot more of these shorts than the capris,” Hightower added.

But the key business for Nadal is the shoes, which Hightower says are “blowing out.” The success of the green neon Air Court Ballistec 1.3 shoes that Nadalwore has been followed up by this year’s version, which are pink and feature Nadal’s bull logoon the side.

Nike Air CourtBallistec 1.3 Men Shoe Gry/Pink

It will be interesting to see if Nadal, whose many quirks include organizing water bottles in a particular order at changeovers, makes any issue of his outfit. We’ll be watching.

Questions?  Comments?