Andre Agassi is one of the most popular tennis athletes the world has ever seen. His flamboyant look and attitude matched the glitz of his hometown, Las Vegas. Although tennis had seen plenty of bad boys (Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe), Agassi brought a personality to the sport that transcended the game. Like many of Nike’s athletes of the time, he was a popular person to pay attention to, even for those that didn’t necessarily like tennis.
The 1990’s were a fantastic time for American men’s tennis and Nike. This was due to the dominance of their athletes, especially the top two, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Their yin-yang personality was not all hype either as both spent plenty of time at the #1 ranking, as well as winning Grand Slams along the way. Although their head-to-head matchups were pretty one-sided to Sampras, the focus usually was on Andre for the flair he brought to the court. The sneakers he laced up and the apparel he wore were all part of pop culture. From long hair to hair extensions to bald, Agassi helped sell Nike…until he didn’t and went to adidas.
Joining his wife Steffi Graf with the three stripes to end his career never seemed right. But a few years back Agassi rejoined team Nike. Fans of him and his sneakers have had plenty to be happy about since. Turning 45 today, Agassi and Nike’s partnership has not only made the sneaker community happy but impacted his charter schools. Here’s hoping the two never break up again.