The release of the Propulse FURY was a year-end highlight carried by a renowned ambassador and a collaborative launch with our retail partners.
Babolat first developed tennis shoes in 2003. Over the past 13 years, from the original Team All Court to the Propulse worn by Andy Roddick in 2007, to the new Propulse FURY, Babolat has continued to hone its footwear expertise. This dedication to testing new technologies in the field has enabled the introduction of a truly innovative product.
The Propulse FURY is designed for players demanding optimal support, and a shoe that allows change of direction on all surfaces without restraint. The stakes are especially high as the Propulse and its different versions have marked and will continue to define the history of the brand. As such, the development of the shoe centered on the feeling of security and a desire to reinforce stability. The FURY has a renowned and charismatic ambassador in Benoît Paire. The French player is very proud to succeed the American Andy Roddick in this role: “Becoming the ambassador of the Propulse FURY is an honor for me. Babolat has always supported me. I perfectly remember my transition to the AeroPro Drive and how that racket gave me what I needed to reach the next level in my career, bringing me more power and spin. So naturally when I was asked to wear the Propulse FURY I was interested. Actually, when I first set foot in the shoe, it fit me like a glove. I did not hesitate for a single second. Since I’ve been wearing the shoe, so since the US Open, I have never been disappointed. It was a good decision and makes me very proud. Andy Roddick was number one in the world and his career was quite successful.”
As has been the case with the previous models, the focus has been on stability. The true novelty of the FURY is a unique sensation thanks to an integrated in-sock that fully wraps the foot. “And through the lacing, we use straps that tighten to maintain stability according to the morphology of the foot and the preferences of the player,” says Julien Alberti, R&D Project Leader of the Propulse FURY.
The FURY is inspired by its predecessors while adapting to the new trends of the game where sliding, even on hard courts, has become a reality.
“Today, my game often forces me to slide, whatever the surface. For me, it is one of the keys to my performance. I must be able to move, change rhythm safely and with maximum stability. In this area, the Propulse FURY is on top,” explains Benoît Paire. “It keeps me in control through all of my movements. It is pure pleasure while staying very comfortable. This is done with no sacrifice to the foot, which stays very stable.”
The French champion was asked only a few days before the US Open to test the new model.
Usually for an equipment change, a much longer period of testing and adaptation is necessary. However, Benoît Paire loved the FURY so much that he quickly made his choice: “I felt very strongly about it and decided to use the Propulse FURY at the US Open.” A few days later, the Propulse FURY lived its first hours on the professional tour in a Grand Slam, on the hot cement of Flushing Meadows: “My first match confirmed my impressions from the start. I felt at ease in my sneakers (laughs), and I played with a lot of confidence,” commented the Frenchman.
Another staple quality of the Propulse franchise is its durability. And in this area, we didn’t change a winning team. Babolat and Michelin have worked hand in hand, once again. “In one year, I have to use more than fifty pairs of shoes, and in a match every variable matters. Knowing that my shoes will also go the distance, that there won’t be problems, is important. I really feel confident and secure in the Propulse FURY, and it’s a component of the shoe that matters just as much as comfort. Knowing that Michelin has worked on the sole is also a real gauge of the quality in terms of traction and optimization of contact with the surface,” comments Benoît Paire.
With dynamism, comfort, stability and durability, there is only one more criteria left for the Propulse FURY to quickly become a pillar of the market: the “look”. “The image of the Propulse has always been one of a solid and robust shoe. The Propulse FURY retains those values while proposing an innovative design and a very trendy look,” comments Laurent Muckensturm, Head of Footwear and Textile Marketing. Paire shares this sentiment, claiming, “The look, no matter what we say, is an important critique of a player, and here, I was amazed. This shoe makes our feet appealing, I like that the colors and the design is impeccable. I like to be elegant on the court and here I must admit that it suits me perfectly.”
Adopted by an electrifying competitor, the Propulse FURY has had quite the introduction. The shoe will empower recreational and competition players alike as, footwear has become as essential as the racket. The launch presented an opportunity for Babolat to change its habits and strengthen its relationships with specialty dealers. “The launch of the Propulse FURY was strategic especially in the very competitive shoe market,” explains Guillaume Martin, Head of Marketing in Europe.
“This time, we wanted to go further and involve our distributors even more. More than 500 across over 20 countries were selected to receive a preview of the Propulse FURY so they could playtest the shoe and share their feelings with their customers. In addition, we set up a web platform to compile their impressions and get genuine feedback from experts.”
“With the Propulse FURY, Babolat offers the world a summary of its expertise and confirms it will bring the most adaptive, performing, and innovative products to the sport of tennis,” explains Grégoire Laverty, head of Babolat’s R&D footwear division. The Propulse FURY is an ambition that has been met by returning to the fundamentals that made its predecessors successful while offering a new and unique experience.