There comes a time in the lives of almost all tennis players when they have to accept the fact that they’re never going to play Wimbledon. That the thrill of playing in front of a rapt, paying audience will have to remain a mystery. That apparel companies won’t fall over themselves to broker an endorsement deal. No, for most players who pick up a racquet, the joys of competition are found at that fierce battleground known as the recreational level; the town, school, club, or USTA teams that so many pledge their allegiance. For those who take greater pleasure in being a participant rather than a spectator, it’s where the sport lives and breathes.
And while Nike and Adidas may not want to sponsor your team, there’s a brand that’s willing and able. Antigua has been in the industry for more than 30 years, making its name in golf and licensed sports teams apparel. It is a sister brand to Dunlop, and late last year launched its inaugural tennis line. The clothes function as well as any of the bigger names, with sizing running toward the big. (Normally I wear medium or large shirts, but I took a small with Antigua’s line. Call it a symptom of golf culture which opts for shirts on the baggy side.)
A few months ago at the Family Circle Cup tournament in Charleston, Antigua introduced its team concept initiative. Instead of looking for the next up-and-coming superstar to market the brand, they’re taking the Uncle Sam approach: They want you. When purchasing its performance shirts and shorts on its website, the company is offering free embroidery and discounts for team orders of eight pieces or more. But the real kick is if you submit a photo of your team—doubles or league—there’s a chance Antigua will become your team’s clothing sponsor (custom logo included). So even if a town park is your Centre Court, your team can still look the part. Check out the video below for additional information.