The Tecnifibre Story
Tecnifibre may have players like Gisela Dulko, Janko Tipsarevic and Marcos Baghdatis on its team but developing technology to help players of the future is what the brand prides itself on
When French-born Thierry Maissant was growing up he was frustrated playing with rackets that were too long and too heavy in a sport that was not readily accessible to kids. So in 1979 he created Major Sports and began manufacturing adapted rackets in Asia, which meant for the first time there were quality, but affordable, frames available for juniors. Later, when the French Federation decided to launch a mini tennis programme, Major Sports was contacted to develop the rackets. In effect, this was the beginning of the Tecnifibre story.
Today, Tecnifibre is a leading company based in a small village near Paris. It distributes products to 80 countries around the world, with its own sales force in the US and Spain. Tecnifibre sees itself as a specialist tennis brand, focusing on producing young competitors’ rackets as well as strings and balls, which are made using unique technology.
As Guillaume Ducruet, its Global Sport Marketing Manager, explains: “As a core tennis brand we have a specific strategy and some identified targets. We are not into the mass market and we are only interested in the real players’ needs. This is the reason why we think of ‘useful technology’ through rackets and strings. Don’t forget that the high competition has some standards which are not suitable for 99 per cent of the players.
“We want to help young players improve their game with some adaptive products,” continues Ducruet. “They are the future of the game. The right strings with the right frame is our vision of how to develop the children’s range.”
Perhaps it is no surprise then that the ethos of the company is summed up in the tagline ‘We are young, we are next!’ and since pursuing this strategy Tecnifibre players have featured in four semi-finals and a final at junior Grand Slam events. Marton Fucsovics was the ITF junior world No.2 and 2010 Junior Wimbledon champion. Another Tecnifibre player, Bjorn Fratangelo, won the boys’ singles at Roland Garros in June.
Read more about Tecnifibre and other gear-related stories in the September issue of tennishead, which is in stores now. Or follow this link to sign up for an annual subscription: http://www.tennishead.net/shop/
Click here to watch the Tecnifibre channel, which includes a video about their stringing factory as well as interviews with their top players: http://vimeo.com/26162065