H&M Signs Tennis Star Tomas Berdych

The player will wear H&M and help it design a tennis collection.

PARIS — Hennes & Mauritz AB said it has signed Czech tennis star Tomas Berdych as brand ambassador and plans to collaborate with the currently 6th-ranked player on a tennis collection.

“Tomas is such an exciting player, and he also cares greatly about style. We can’t wait to start working with him, to watch Tomas wear H&M on court, and to see our upcoming collection with him in H&M stores worldwide,” said Karl-Johan Persson, chief executive officer of H&M.

The collaboration marks the first time H&M clothing will be worn on court by a top-ranking tennis player. Tomas, 27, is also expected to don H&M men’s wear off the court. The deal follows in the footsteps of a similar partnership between Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo and Novak Djokovic, announced last May.

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“I am very excited about this partnership. This is H&M’s first foray into tennis and it is very flattering for me to be their first ambassador,” stated Berdych, whose most notable achievement to date is reaching the final of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, after defeating Roger Federer and Djokovic.

Separately, H&M said same-store sales fell 2 percent in December, following a 1 percent increase the previous month. Revenues in local currencies increased 8 percent, versus a rise of 11 percent the previous month.

“Sales in December were affected by a negative calendar effect of approximately 3 percentage points,” the Swedish high street retailer noted. The store count stood at 2,809 on Dec. 31, compared with 2,490 stores on Dec. 31, 2011. The company will publish its full-year report on Jan. 30.