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TAG HEUER ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH RISING JAPANESE TENNIS ACE KEI NISHIKORI

Feb 14, 2012 - Source: IMG Tennis

TAG Heuer, the prestigious watch brand established in 1860, has formed a partnership with rising Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori, currently ranked No. 18 on the ATP Tour.

Kei Nishikori began playing tennis at the age of five in his native Japan. In 2003, Nishikori relocated to the U.S. to pursue his dream of playing professional tennis and enrolled at the world-class training and educational facilities at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.  While training and further developing his skills at the Academy, Nishikori found success in the junior boy’s circuit, finishing his junior’s career by winning the 2006 Junior Boys French Open Doubles title.  Nishikori turned professional in 2007. In 2008, he claimed his first professional victory at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.  Later that year he was also named 2008 ATP Newcomer of the Year and was the first Asian player to win the award.  More recently, Kei has elevated his game to a new level, he finished 2011 with an outstanding performance by defeating ATP No. 1 Novak Djokovic, a first-ever accomplishment in Japanese men’s singles tennis. He also began 2012 by reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, the furthest a Japanese male player has gone in the championship since 1968. 

Kei continues to live and train—since the age of 14—at IMG Academies.  His management team at IMG Tennis, a division of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, media and fashion company, manages his on-court career and development of his professional brand endorsement portfolio.

Since TAG Heuer was established in Saint-Imier, Switzerland in 1860, the manufacture has been making watches with passion and has set many major milestones of high-end watchmaking, especially in the field of chronographs and ultimate precision. Today, one of the largest and most desired brands in the luxury watch industry, the Swiss legend draws upon its active engagement in the world of sports to create the most accurate timing instruments and watches in the world.

From the Olympic Games in the 1920’s to its role as official timekeeper for Formula One in the 90’s and the legendary Indianapolis 500 race today, TAG Heuer has constantly held true to its quest for innovation, excellence and performance. The company has also walked down the path of sports history in partnership with many top athletes. In the 1960’s, Jack Heuer, the current Honorary Chairman who was the president of the company at that time, initiated the first sponsorship with the Swiss racer Jo Siffert. Since then, TAG Heuer has developed close relationships with top racers such as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button from the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team and legendary athletes such as Maria Sharapova and Suzann Pettersen. Beginning this year, TAG Heuer is proud to become the official sponsor of the ORACLE Racing Team at the America’s Cup, an international yacht race with the longest history among the sporting events of the world. These sports personalities are not simply marketing vehicles for TAG Heuer; they are important partners who share the values of the brand.

Kei Nishikori, said “There is a lot in common between TAG Heuer’s relentless search for perfection and the core values of athletes who are in constant pursuit of victory. It is a great honor for me to join the exceptional list of world-class athletes who have represented TAG Heuer over the years.”

In making the announcement, TAG Heuer President and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said, “Kei has put in a tremendous amount of hard work and effort over the years. He has an insatiable passion for tennis and a strong will that will never accept the possibility of giving up. To realize his dreams, he sets himself a high target and once he gets there, he expands his horizon and aims for a higher target. We will support his future activities while looking forward to a fruitful partnership with him.”