NEW YORK — The young men and women picking up tennis balls at Wimbledon this summer will sport an oversized, 3-inch Polo Ralph Lauren polo player logo on their new uniform. The logo is slightly smaller than the 5-inch Polo logo worn by ball people at the U.S. Open.
In March, Polo Ralph Lauren signed a five-year deal with the All England Club to dress all on-court personnel, including chair umpires, line judges and ball people. Polo is also the apparel sponsor at the U.S. Open, another Grand Slam event.
The Polo Wimbledon ball people’s uniforms, revealed Tuesday, consist of a navy polo top with white striping, an enlarged polo player logo and a newly designed Ralph Lauren/Wimbledon crest on the sleeve. There are navy shorts for the men and navy skorts for the women. In addition, both men and women have a navy fleece warm-up suit with a zipped jacket.
The umpires’ and judges’ uniforms consist of looks such as white trousers, collared shirts and navy blazers.
The deal marked the first time that Wimbledon has had an apparel sponsor. The Ralph Lauren Wimbledon collection will be sold at Polo stores and online, as well as at select retailers in Europe and the U.S. The company also plans a comprehensive marketing campaign around the event.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon officials said Tuesday that Adidas has filed suit against the four Grand Slam tournaments and the International Tennis Federation over the size of logos on players’ clothing, according to published reports. Adidas executives could not be reached for comment. The Grand Slam Committee ruled last May that Adidas’ three stripes were a “manufacturer’s identification” and not a “design effect,” and Adidas was told its logos must not be bigger than 4 square inches. The company alleges that the ruling “discriminates against Adidas.”
This story first appeared in the April 26, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.