The performances of Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in the 2012 U.S. Open gave their sponsor, Head Tennis, some valuable air time. Whether it was 10 seconds of video showing Maria Sharapova carrying her stylish Head tennis bag or Murray and Djokovic battling it out for the championship with their Head racquets and equipment, these players not only helped themselves financially by playing deep into the tournament, they also helped strengthen the Head brand.
Maria Sharapova’s 2012 season will go down as a solid performance following a struggle with shoulder problems. She regained the number one WTA ranking by winning the French Open and made it to the finals of the Australian Open and Olympics and the semifinals of the U.S. Open. It’s safe to say that she’s back both physically and mentally.
The U.S. Open gave Sharapova a chance to show off the new tennis bag from Head that bears her name, the Maria Sharapova Court bag. This model stands out for its white color with fancily scripted gold lettering. Sharapova’s charismatic image has allowed her to become an icon that transcends the sport of tennis, earning much more from pursuits outside of tennis than within it. It’s only fitting that the bag that bears her name be equally impressive.
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray’s performances may have helped Head’s brand in a way that might make Sharapova jealous. It was a marketing coup for Head that both appeared in the U.S. Open finals. The marathon match will surely go down as one of the more memorable ones in U.S. Open history and to tennis fans. It took 4 hours and 54 minutes for Murray to defeat Djokovic 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 for his first Grand Slam title. This tied the U.S. Open record for the longest final in 1988 when Mats Wilander defeated Ivan Lendl.
After the first two sets, one thing was clear: this title wasn’t going to come easily for Murray. He had to scratch and claw to win the first two sets, only to struggle in the third and fourth. It looked grim for Murray as the momentum at that point had shifted to Djokovic, but the Scot somehow found the strength to win the fifth set 6-2. After seeing the determination of both players, who gave it their all to the very end, it is only fitting that Head developed a model of tennis bags named after each player.
The victory caps off a great summer for Murray, who also won Olympic gold in Men’s Singles in his home country. Djokovic had a streak of three Grand Slam titles starting with the 2011 Wimbledon Championship and continuing to the 2012 Australian Open. He made the finals of the 2012 French Open where he lost to Rafael Nadal.
A couple of situations underscore the importance of having a quality tennis bag, a subject Head is well versed in. One of the things the 2012 U.S. Open will be remembered for is its rain delays and postponements. Sharapova was subjected to rain delays in a match against Marion Bartoli. Having a feature-rich bag like the Maria Sharapova Court bag made it much easier for her to put on a long-sleeved shirt to stay warm, put her other equipment away and exit the court quickly once play was suspended. It also helped to keep her racquets dry until she got in out of the rain.
In a grueling match like the one Murray and Djokovic had in the finals, Head came through once again in its tennis bag design. Staying hydrated is critical when you are out on the court for a full day of work. In the third set, Murray broke a string. Thanks to his mult-racquet Head tennis bag, he had enough spare racquets that he quickly pulled out a replacement and resumed play with little interruption.
Sharapova and Murray’s situations that they had to deal with seemed trivial, and that’s the point: the great design Head put into these tennis bags allowed both players to focus on the game instead of contending with annoying inconveniences.
Christopher Mohr is a freelance copywriter in the San Diego area. He writes on topics including sports, business and technology. Prior to his writing career, he worked in IT and customer service.