Michelin partners with Alizé Cornet
Michelin, through its Michelin Lifestyle range, is teaming up with Babolat to partner with world-class French tennis player Alizé Cornet. This partnership is a first in the tennis industry.
Michelin is delighted to announce that the company is building on its long-term involvement with sports equipment company Babolat, a footwear partnership that began 12 years ago.
Speaking about the partnership, Christian Delhaye, Managing Director of Michelin Lifestyle said: “Competitive sports are the ultimate testbed for innovation and have been part of Michelin’s history and development processes across all the Group’s activities, including Michelin Lifestyle. The skills partnership agreement we have signed with Alizé Cornet, a professional tennis player on the WTA circuit and a member of the French Fed Cup team, is a natural fit for Michelin. The aim of our partnership is to highlight the performance of tennis shoe outsoles in order to design new models.”
The goals are equally important for Babolat. “For the past 140 years, Babolat has innovated continuously by observing the game of tennis and analysing how racket sports players move on the court. Our Pro Team players play at the highest level of the sport, and therefore represent an integral part in the development of our products. We draw on their experience and our expertise to design products perfectly tailored to the needs of tennis players. We are thrilled that our partner Michelin will be joining forces with a Babolat tennis player who is also an ambassador for our footwear. This partnership will bring Michelin even closer to the game in order to gain a greater understanding of players’ requirements,” commented Jean-Christophe Verborg, Babolat’s International Sports Marketing Director.
Alizé Cornet will be wearing Babolat’s flagship tennis shoe: the Propulse BPM which features a highly innovative design. During a tennis match, players either move sideways or diagonally 80 per cent of the time and tend to put their weight on the front of their feet. Babolat and Michelin closely observed and analysed the movements of tennis players to develop the first tennis-only shoe back in 2003.
Babolat forged an exclusive partnership with tire specialist Michelin to combine their expertise and meet the specific requirements of tennis players. This resulted in the design of a unique high-performance outsole.
The two companies have been working together for more than 10 years in pursuit of excellence. Similarities between shoe outsoles and tires – both of which are in contact with the ground – have allowed the two brands to achieve innovative advancements in footwear. The parallels between a car travelling efficiently and safely and a high-performance tennis player on the court have united Michelin and Babolat in their quest for innovation.
Moving forward, stopping abruptly, jumping, landing back on the ground and sprinting are all movements which require precision and efficiency. Inspired by rally tires, Michelin’s outsoles feature exclusive rubber compounds and a tread design developed by Michelin especially for Babolat. Major breakthroughs have been achieved in terms of grip and resistance to abrasion, thereby improving durability. Alizé Cornet’s Babolat Propulse BPM shoes feature the very latest in outsole design with the MICHELIN OCS2 outsole.