Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has entered into an endorsement deal with Japanese sportswear manufacturer Asics.
Djokovic had previously held a shoe deal with Adidas but has now moved from the German sportswear giant to sign a new deal.
Asics confirmed the agreement today (Thursday) at a launch event for its new Gel-Resolution Novak tennis shoe, which it has developed in partnership with the 12-time grand slam champion. The shoe will be available to buy from January 15, coinciding with the start of the Australian Open, the first grand slam tennis event of the year.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Asics,” Djokovic said. “They have gone above and beyond to ensure the technology is the best and specific to my needs as a player, on the court.”
Motoi Oyama, chairman, president and chief executive, representative director, at Asics Corporation, added: “Tennis has evolved drastically over the years, with many players now requiring products that allow them to move faster around the court and hit with greater power.
“The tennis category will be a future focus for Asics, as we look to eventually achieve our vision of becoming the world’s no.1 tennis footwear brand. We’re thrilled to be working with Djokovic as part of our ongoing commitment to inspire people to move more on and off the court.”
In May, Djokovic was appointed as a global brand ambassador of French clothing brand Lacoste. Under the agreement, Djokovic wears Lacoste-branded clothing during events. Lacoste replaced Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo as Djokovic’s kit supplier.
The Asics deal comes as Djokovic faces an ongoing fitness battle to compete at the Australian Open. The 30-year-old has played at this week’s Kooyang Classic, an event that traditionally precedes the Melbourne showpiece, and said he does intend to take part, but also admitted he is not yet back to full fitness.
Djokovic missed the second half of last season through injury and has not played at a grand slam tournament since retiring from his quarter-final match against Tomáš Berdych at the Wimbledon Championships in July.