Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Roddick's French Ties Make Each Win More Valuable


Andy Roddick might be an American tennis player, but nearly all his business interests are actually based his France.

His racket and shoes are sponsored by Babolat. French.

Babolat Ad
Babolat Ad

His apparel is sponsored by Lacoste, founded by French tennis player Rene Lacoste.

And his longtime agent Ken Meyerson is now owned by Lagardere, a huge French conglomerate.

So it goes without saying that winning in France is important for Roddick, who had never advanced past the the third round before today's fourth round match against frenchman Gael Monfils.

"Winning today's match against Monfils would be herculean," Meyerson told me, saying he couldn't put a specific value on it. "It would be off the charts."

Meyerson is clearly one of the reasons why Roddick has been popular with French companies.

The agent grew up in Montreal, but went to American University in Paris. He said he learned to speak better French since his first love didn't speak much English. But Meyerson doesn't like to take too much credit.

"We're an international sport, so it's obviously a wonderful asset to be able to speak the languages," Meyerson said. "But the fact is that a company like Lacoste wanted the product I was selling in Andy and wanted to bridge the French business with a market that was emerging for them in the US."

While Federer and Nadal fight over Nike, Roddick has been the beneficiary of being the face of Lacoste and of Babolat shoes.

But just because he wears French brands and is managed by a French conglomerate, doesn't mean he'll be the betting favorite or the crowd favorite, for that matter. At Roland Garros, they cheer for their native blood (Monfils) over business relationships.

That being said, because of the brands on his body, every win at the French Open is arguably more important to Roddick than any other player.

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