We Federer fans have grown to love the slightly sinister, matte black stick Roger’s wielded over the past months – that certain anonymous menace, the shark-like sheen, the much-discussed larger sweet spot (10 percent larger, according to Wilson). But it was also a bit unsettling – until we saw the “for real” version of the racket it still seemed a bit experimental, like Boris Becker’s presence in Nole’s box.
Sigh of relief, guys, Roger previewed the racket’s official uniform yesterday on Facebook, and now Wilson has released another of their series of fun “Racket Scientist” themed videos to celebrate the RF97’s coming of age, so to speak.
Here’s the story behind the aesthetics from Wilson’s press release:
The new family of Pro Staff rackets underwent an aesthetic reinvention worthy of its performance specification evolution. The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph will feature a black throat and red hoop. Red is a color with close ties to both Federer and Wilson and black is a color prevalent in past Pro Staff rackets. Black standardized design elements have been placed at three and nine o’clock on the hoop to ensure Pro Staff rackets are unmistakably Wilson, while infusing a fresh, youthful look.
“This is a great example of the synergy that exists between Wilson and the tennis community,” said Mike Dowse, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. President. “As a brand, we are committed to listening to the needs of our professional and recreational players. With the new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph racket we have created a stylish design while maintaining the premium performance and feel.”
The story behind the final graphics package for the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph proves their intimate connection with tennis fans. Wilson executives discovered Peter Figasinski, a freelance graphic designer and life-long Wilson racket player, after he posted a design concept on a popular tennis forum. After tracking down Figasinski, Wilson signed him to a one-year contract to do exclusive design work across a variety of products and platforms.
Figasinski set out to share his vision for the new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph racket as a modern yet youthful tribute to the proud heritage of the storied racket line. The design was submitted to Federer, who took to the graphics instantly.
“When I saw the designs from Wilson, I knew right away that this was the look that I wanted to represent my legacy with the brand,” said Federer. “The design is young and modern, with a classic feel. It is a fitting look for the next generation of the Pro Staff rackets.”
It’s interesting that the design came from a fan and not internally – Federer fans are a talented bunch, of course!
So what do you think of the new design?