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New Initiatives to Enhance the Value of the DUNLOP Brand through Tennis
-Sumitomo Rubber Industries held a press conference in New York City-

 

August 27, 2018

 

Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. held a press conference on its "new initiatives to enhance the value of the DUNLOP brand through tennis" in New York City on August 25. The following items were announced :

1)Announcement of a new brand message, "LOVE THE GAME"
2)Launch of the DUNLOP CX series tennis rackets "POWERED BY SRIXON"
3)Conclusion of an official supplier agreement with the Australian Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, for the first time as a Japanese company, and release of the official balls as "DUNLOP Australian Open" tennis balls (scheduled to be released in the first half of 2019)
4)Future initiatives with IMG Academy (Florida, USA)

In April 2017, Sumitomo Rubber Industries acquired the trademark rights of the DUNLOP brand overseas and the sporting goods and licensing businesses of the DUNLOP brand from the UK-based Sports Direct International plc. Established in 1888, DUNLOP is a traditional brand originating in the U.K. and widely known in the sports field, mainly for its racket sports products. We have been working on enhancing the value of the brand through our tennis business. We are committed to continue striving to improve the DUNLOP brand value in the entire Sumitomo Rubber Group including the tennis business.

 
Images of the press conference using the project mapping
The announcement of an agreement with AOFrom the left, Michael Chang (USA), Hideaki Kawamatsu (Executive Officer, Head of Sports Business Headquarters), Richard Heaselgrave (Tennis Australia Chief Revenue Officer), Kevin Anderson (South Africa).
Inside the eventDUNLOP players joined the press conference
(1)DUNLOP's new brand message in racket sports :
DUNLOP intends to spread "LOVE THE GAME" globally as its new brand message.
The message conveys that the DUNLOP brand provides healthy and rich moments for all players through sports and that it is a brand for players who seek to not just win the game, but also enjoy and love the game.
(2)Launch of the DUNLOP CX series tennis rackets "POWERED BY SRIXON"
In March 2017, we launched SRIXON "REVO CX" series of tennis rackets in Japan. Afterwards, in the fall of 2017, test sales of the "REVO CX" series started in North America under the different brand name of DUNLOP SRIXON. At that time, our contracted player Kevin Anderson (South Africa) became the finalist in the men's singles at the US Open. This brilliant achievement received a lot of attention, contributing to favorable results of the test sales there. Since 2018, we have begun selling our tennis rackets full scale in North America and Europe.
To date, our tennis rackets have been mainly marketed under the SRIXON brand in Japan while marketed under the DUNLOP brand overseas. These brands will be integrated into a single brand, DUNLOP, starting with the new CX tennis racket series, which will be launched as 2019 models. Tennis rackets in the new series will be positioned and marketed as the premium range model of "DUNLOP POWERED BY SRIXON"; and technologies that we have used for SRIXON rackets will pass on to these new series tennis rackets. To differentiate our new products from other tennis goods, coloring that reminds customers of the D>mark has been adopted. (For details, a press release on the new products will be issued later.)
(3)Conclusion of an official supplier agreement with the Australian Open
We have signed an official supplier agreement commencing in 2019 with the Australian Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. We are scheduled to launch the official balls of the AO as "DUNLOP Australian Open" tennis balls.
This agreement allows us to become the official supplier of tennis balls for the Australian Open, starting in 2019, and official supplier for the Emirates Australian Open Series (tournaments considered as preliminary competitions before the AO), to set up a booth during the AO tournament, and to manufacture and sell official tennis ball-related goods. We are the first Japanese company to be an official ball supplier of a Grand Slam tournament. The official balls are scheduled to be released as "DUNLOP Australian Open" tennis balls in the first half of 2019 with an open price tag.
For details, please refer to the press release in the following URL :
URL : http://www.srigroup.co.jp/english/news/2018/sp/2018_p09.html
(4)Future initiatives with the IMG Academy
Sumitomo Rubber Industries signed an official sponsorship contract with the IMG Tennis Academy (hereinafter, IMGA; Location: Florida, USA) in January of this year. Since then, we have provided a variety of support to players. The following is new initiatives we have just started working on: 
•Implementation of the "IMG Academy DUNLOP Junior Program"
We are scheduled to carry out one-week youth tennis camp, "IMG Academy DUNLOP Junior Program," this December. For the camp, we have appointed Michael Chang, who is a DUNLOP tennis advisory staff member and has extensive experience in playing in tours, and Rohan Goetzke, who is the head of tennis coaches at IMG. Through this youth camp, we intend to support development and training of top young players.
•Establishment of the Dunlop Innovation Center and the appointment of individuals in charge of tours and junior players
We have established the Dunlop Innovation Center within the IMGA ground. As part of our efforts to develop new products, this facility will be used as a research and development base, where information collection, product testing, and other efforts will be conducted.
Since June of this year, employees of the Sumitomo Rubber Group companies have been stationed at the IMGA facilities to provide comprehensive support services such as stringing service and racket customization. Offering such support to top professional players and junior players who are doing training in the IMGA, we intend to win their trust.
•Applying our experiences at the IMGA to the Dunlop Tennis School
We aim to make our Dunlop Tennis School (Head office: Tokyo) even better by creating opportunities for personnel exchanges between the DUNLOP school and the IMGA. Such opportunities would allow our school staff to extend their knowledge. We plan to conduct staff training at the IMGA and hold tennis clinics at Dunlop-related events, which will be instructed by IMGA tennis coaches.


 

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