On’s Ambition to Conquer the Tennis Market
Months after signing a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with Swiss running shoe brand On, world No. 1 tennis player Iga Świątek took to the courts at the U.S. Open wearing a pair of Asics sneakers instead of On’s shoes. This unexpected move highlights the challenges On faces in expanding into the tennis market. Despite its success in the running industry, creating a professional tennis shoe has proven to be extremely difficult for the brand. However, On remains determined to become a global sportswear brand capable of competing with industry giants like Nike and Adidas.
The Design Challenge and Collaboration with Federer
On’s signature design elements, such as foam pods in the outsole, do not provide enough lateral stability for the 360-degree movement required in tennis. To overcome this challenge, On worked closely with tennis legend Roger Federer to design a professional tennis shoe from scratch. The style, known as the Roger Pro, was widely sold in early 2023. However, it may not be suitable for players like Świątek, who require different features for their playing style. Despite these setbacks, On continues to collaborate with top tennis players to refine its tennis shoe offerings.
On’s Patient Approach and Focus on Running
While On is eager to establish itself in the tennis market, the company remains patient and focused on its core running business. On expects its top-line revenue to grow by 44% this year, with its direct-to-consumer business outpacing wholesale. The company’s stock may have experienced a temporary dip due to foreign currency exchange rates, but analysts believe that On has substantial room for growth within the running industry. On’s goal is to blur the lines between sport and lifestyle, similar to popular brands like Adidas and Reebok.
The Importance of the U.S. Market
The United States is a crucial market for On, accounting for two-thirds of its total sales. To expand its presence in the country, On is focusing on marketing efforts that encourage new people to play tennis and adopt the brand’s gear into their daily lives. On hosted an event in Brooklyn before the U.S. Open, featuring Federer, Świątek, and rising American star Ben Shelton, to promote tennis participation. On believes that the success of tennis in the U.S. is essential for the brand to become a global tennis powerhouse.
Keywords: On, tennis shoe, Iga Świątek, Roger Federer, running, sportswear brand, U.S. market, tennis market, design challenge, collaboration, running business, lifestyle, growth.
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