Nike is significantly reducing its presence in women’s tennis, at least we can conclude that from the number of WTA players that no longer endorse the brand at the start of the 2023 season. The latest former Nike star that enters the new year without the Swoosh on her apparel is the 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.
As the world No.37 Stephens stepped on the court to play the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland against Spain’s Rebeka Masarova, we could notice that her outfit had no Nike logo. The Grand Slam champion is the fourth WTA player not to continue her partnership with Nike in 2023, joining Donna Vekic, Marta Kostyuk and Marketa Vondrousova.
We can now confirm that Stephens is wearing FP Movement apparel in Auckland, a brand also endorsed by Sofia Kenin. The American wrote on Instagram: “I’m thrilled to be joining the FP Movement team as their newest ambassador! I’m looking forward to the support they will give me in my tennis career and in my efforts off the court.”
Stephens’ cooperation with Nike lasted five years, since January 2018. When she triumphed in Flushing Meadows, her clothing sponsor was Under Armour.
Ah I didn’t see this one! I personally loved when Sloane was with Under Armour, her dresses were so well made- the cut, fit, and colour were great. I don’t think Nike’s range came anywhere near the style of Under Armour. It’s a pity Under Armour didn’t continue representing a top female player.
Karo, I also loved Stephens in Under Armour: the solid bright colors suited her great and it was good that she wore a different brand from all the other players on tour. It’s a pity Under Armour has since withdrawn from women’s tennis.
The ‘Tennis’ website also covers this topic in detail:
Karo, as they say in the article, Nike dropping so many players at the start of the year is actually nothing new. In 2020, they ended contracts with four WTA players by January 5th: Ajla Tomljanovic, Maria Sakkari, Caroline Garcia and Iga Swiatek.
@marjia. Not sure if dropping Iga was the best idea. But nobody can really predict the future. It’s all a guess, of one sort or another.