Tennis Star Coco Gauff signed her first contract with New Balance at age 14. Now, at age 18, Gauff has inked a “long-term extension” with the Boston-based brand.
To celebrate the official signing of the extension, the brand is launching a new colorway on Nov. 3 of Gauff’s signature Coco CG1 performance tennis shoe, this design dubbed the All in the Family.
“I couldn’t ask for a more committed team that is forward-thinking in their approach and match my love for the game with their passion for quality and creativity,” says Guaff, who has risen to a career-high World No. 4 ranking and prepares to play in the WTA Finals as the youngest player in the tournament. “New Balance has supported me since my junior tennis years and has been by my side for the biggest moments of my career. The team feels like family, so it was an easy decision to extend with a team that has embraced me as a person and genuinely works to help bring out my best.”
Evan Zeder, New Balance head of tennis sports marketing says the relationship between New Balance and Guaff is one of a kind. “We’ve grown from seeing a bright future in 2018 to working with one of the most dynamic, creative and thoughtful individuals for the long haul,” he says. “Coco’s drive, passion and positivity embody our partnership and the New Balance brand. We are excited to continue to work with Coco to deliver innovative products that elevate her performance on court, and at the same time celebrate her off court style and influence, to inspire the next generation.”
At 18 years old, Gauff is capping a successful year, highlighted by her first singles Grand Slam final at the French Open. She is now the second-youngest American player to reach a World top-10 ranking and the second youngest player in history to earn a WTA World No. 1 doubles ranking.
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In July, New Balance and Gauff unveiled the Coco CG1 signature model. The new colorway of the shoe, All in the Family, releases ahead of the WTA Finals in Texas.
“When working with Coco on this colorway we discussed the powerful properties found in crystals and how they are used to celebrate new beginnings,” says Cordell Jordan, New Balance footwear designer. “The dark green and red found in the All in the Family colorway represent her heart and root chakras, which stands for the vision and passion she has on and off the court, all while keeping her grounded and humble through it all.”
In a sport that made signature shoes popular more than five decades ago, the NB Coco CG1 holds a rare spot as a signature shoe in the sport. The signature isn’t the only portion distinct for today’s game, with a mid-top height, retro aesthetic and carbon fiber plate, each element of the Coco CG1 takes a fresh perspective on tennis footwear.
“It’s an absolute dream come true to be able to put my stamp on this sport with New Balance and hopefully inspire generations to come,” Gauff says. “I am really excited to see how people wear this shoe, on and off the court.”
The signature model had been two years in the making, more a decision to celebrate Gauff’s future than her past. Zeder says they don’t take doing a signature shoe lightly, but as a brand that prides itself on unique approaches to the space, a signature shoe of a female athlete in tennis fits the mold.
“We looked at this opportunity to enter into a category that doesn’t have signature and have a female lead that,” he says. “It puts us at a different place and puts her at a different place. We are building off where she is going and not what she has done, using that as a starting place.”
Gauff is already starting to prove more than capable of moving past the New Balance starting place.