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Novak Djokovic’s Sponsors Walk a Tightrope After His Deportation – WWD



A FINE LINE: It has been a tenuous few weeks for the number-one ranked tennis participant Novak Djokovic and the next ones might result in extra uncharted paths.

Whereas the Australian Open received underway Monday, the elite tennis participant was a number of international locations away, having been deported by Australian officers over its COVID-19 vaccination guidelines. The not defending Australian Open champion had contested in court docket {that a} medical exemption — a coronavirus an infection final month. After arriving in Melbourne to compete within the Australian Open, the unvaccinated participant was first detained for 5 days till a federal court docket initially overturned the revocation of his visa. allowed him to be launched. However Australian authorities reversed course a number of days later and deported the tennis professional.

With sponsors like Lacoste, Asics, Montblanc, NetJets, Peugeot and Head, Djokovic’s eligibility in main tennis tournaments is crucial to his livelihood. Requested whether or not his deportation would impression his sponsorship offers with every of those manufacturers, solely Lacoste and Peugeot had acknowledged the requests Monday.

Djokovic first signed with Lacoste in 2017. Final summer season the model prolonged the on-court attire sponsorship deal till 2025. When the extension was revealed in late August, Lacoste tweeted the information, noting, “The distinctive athlete and males’s tennis world #1 shares frequent values with the French Crocodile: audacity, dedication and magnificence.”

On Monday a Lacoste spokeswoman famous how the Australian authorities had canceled Djokovic’s visa, making it unimaginable for him to compete within the Australian Open. “As quickly as doable, we can be in contact with Novak Djokovic to overview the occasions which have accompanied his presence in Australia,” the assertion learn.

The Lacoste spokesperson didn’t reply when requested if that overview would contain figuring out whether or not he violated his contract by being deported or in another manner.

The assertion added, “We want everybody a superb event and thank the organizers for all their efforts to make sure that the event is held in good circumstances for gamers, staffs and spectators.”

A Peugeot spokesperson declined remark Sunday about Djokovic’s Australian Open state of affairs.

Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, has labored with a sequence of manufacturers via the years. After first turning skilled in 2003, he sported Adidas. As soon as that contract ran its course, he switched camps for Sergio Tacchini however that alliance reportedly fell aside after the corporate couldn’t maintain tempo with Djokovic’s bonus funds. From there, Uniqlo enlisted the Serbian-born athlete for a five-year deal.


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