Originally Posted by Sumarokov-Elston
I have to say that I am never quite comfortable with Chris Evert and her many endorsements. I am not comfortable with the sight of "great tennis legends" being dictated what to do, what to wear, appearing in adverts on television... I always feel it should be the great sporting legends who tell the companies where to get off! Especially as the main aim is to flog merchandise to those of us at the bottom of the pyramid, who keep the money racket going... I feel more comfortable here with her perennial rival, Martina Navratilova, who gives time to taking up and defending the rights of minorities.
Companies like Nike, adidas, Wilson, Ellesse, Pepsi, Hood, or whatever get to tell celebs what to do and what to wear, if they are paying them million$ of dollars! It's the way the world of advertising works. Chris Evert or Roger Federer don't get to run Nike while they ares still competing.
As far as flogging merchandise, well that's why clothing and racquet manufacturers make the stuff.....so they can sell it.
I also feel Chris may be an unfair target. Throughout her career, Chris has been very loyal to the initial tennis companies like Wilson. She used Wilson racquets growing up. She could have easily ditched Wilson in favor of another company who might have offered her twice as much as WIlson gave her. But that was not who Chrissie was. Same with Ellesse. Sure, some of those Evert Lipton Tea commercials were hokey. But I don't think Chris came anywhere close to maxing out on her endorsement potential.
I have to say too that Martina isn't the only one taking time to promote interests and causes that are important to her. Chris has staged a charity every year for @ 20 years now that has raised millions of dollars. And Martina was one of those players who seemed to switch racquets and clothing manufacturers frequently. She never exhibited the same loyalty that Chris did in that regard.
I believe Chris did so much for tennis in promoting Wilson, Ellesse and other products. She was a popular player who came along at the time the media and the sport were growing tremendously. I think it was a win-win situation all around. Chris was paid to endorse products she believed in and liked. The manufacturers were able to parlay Chris' popularity into increased sales. And fans were able to use racquets and outfit themselves with products used by the #1 player.