Melbourne, Australia, 15 June 2012 |

The celebrity status of professional tennis players means they’re regularly approached to endorse products. Here’s 10 examples of how a little star power can help elevate a product into the realm of the must-have.

1. Evonne Goolagong – Kentucky Fried Chicken
This delightful little commercial from the 1980s sees Australian legend Evonne Goolagong skipping around the practice court and honing her graceful groundstrokes, all while discussing the comparative virtues of her backhand and KFC’s secret-recipe tender-and-juicy chicken.

2. Caroline Wozniacki – Compeed
Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki swears by Compeed patches, which protect against foot blisters. The irony is that in the ad it appears that her blisters have not been sustained after grinding it out on court, but rather from traipsing around town at night in glamorous footwear.

3, 4 & 5. John Newcombe / Andre Agassi / Maria Sharapova – Canon
Canon has gotten plenty of mileage out of tennis players over the years, starting back in the 1980s when Aussie John Newcombe endorsed the Canon AE-1. Instagrammers the world over would love the vintage quality of the snaps Newk takes while hogging a photographer’s camera at a tennis court. A decade later, along came the Andre Agassi – in his “rebel” days – promoting the famous “Image is Everything” slogan while strutting his stuff in an array of outlandish outfits. Finally comes Maria Sharapova, who has starred in a series of Canon commercials during her time at the top. This one depicts her pelting the back wall of the Miami Masters centre court with balls, and then snapping her handiwork.

6. Andre Agassi and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Nike
It’s hard to know what to make of this, except to say it’s a complete sensory overload. Frenetic music, yelling, bright flashing lights, fluoro colours and screaming fans come out of the screen like a punch in the face until a logo flashes up to let you know that this is actually an ad for Nike clothing. Andre Agassi and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers star in a commercial that’s as memorable as it is bizarre. Which is a sign Nike is doing its job. Get us some of those kicks!

7. John Newcombe – K-Tel
For those wondering, K-Tel is an “As-seen-on-TV” company, specialising in the marketing and selling of pre-recorded audio and video products. One is a tennis instruction tape (with accompanying booklet) featuring John Newcombe’s tennis instruction, a bargain at just under $12.

8. Serena Williams – Wilson
Like Newcombe, Serena endorses a tennis-related product, yet several decades on this particular commercial is a far snappier effort. Williams turns psychologist during a local tennis match and offers some advice and a new Wilson racquet to the struggling Brian, who then returns to the court to carve up his opponent.

9. Roger Federer – Lindt
Roger Federer turns sex symbol in this recent ad for Lindt chocolate balls. Much fuss was made at the time for how the commercial was guilty of gratuitous objectification, and that if the shoe was one the other foot – say, Maria Sharapova getting ogled by two male airport security staff – then everyone would have complained about its inappropriateness. But we really don’t see what the big deal is – Federer skips through a notoriously rigorous customs system and the security officers score a giant bag of chocolate. Everyone wins.

10. Andy Roddick – American Express
The best ad of the bunch. Roddick is shown hauling trophy after chunky trophy onto his flights home from tournaments, before deciding to whip out his AMEX to purchase a second seat on a flight home from Wimbledon in anticipation of having the famous gold cup in tow. Although the shot of Roddick tucked in next to his winning trophy turned out in retrospect to serve as a dream sequence, there is still no doubting he is well-matched with AMEX’s slogan of “confidence”, his competitiveness and self-assuredness making him the perfect choice to endorse the most frequently used credit card in his home country.