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Tennis pro James Blake has signed a deal with Fila for a cobranded line of men’s apparel and footwear.
This story first appeared in the January 15, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The line will include a variety of tennis, golf and fitness apparel, accessories and performance footwear.A limited edition of tennis and fitness products will launch before the U.S. Open in New York in September and the collection will launch at retail for spring-summer 2010.
The collaboration “will be the basis for the development of a long-term licensing business for Blake,” according to Fila, which said other product categories could be added in the future “as opportunities arise in the market.”
A Fila spokesman said the prices and distribution of the collection have not yet been determined.
As part of the deal, Blake will wear Fila branded or cobranded tennis apparel and footwear exclusively on the court and will be featured in Fila’s worldwide marketing efforts.
“Ever since [Björn] Borg graced the courts of Wimbledon in Fila, I have always been attracted to the Italian style, grace and sophistication of the Fila brand,” Blake said in a statement. “My collaboration with Fila is much more than an endorsement arrangement. It will serve as the foundation of a business venture that I hope will continue to build for years to come.”
Blake is the first top 10 American male in more than 10 years to sign with Fila.