Sep 07, 2009 at 05:47 PM
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Zappos "Believes" in Oudin Friends & Fam Box

Zappos, the cinderella e-tailer that bucked the internet crash, apparently zapped U.S. Open cinderella Melanie Oudin some branded swag in time for her upset victory of Maria Sharapova.

It's become common place for agents to shop lesser known players to brands for one off deals when a lower ranked player will be on a show court and/or network TV, but this deal wasn't for Oudin. It's for her coach, family and friends sitting in the Oudin box.

Could this spell a new trend for deals involving not just players, but their entourage who often share in the spotlight, and could this extend to other individual sports like the olympics, golf, MMA and more?

Oudin, who has played with an Adidas hat, shirt and shoes, has an official endorsement deal with the apparel company. Oudin's flashy Adidas shoes have been a topic of interest in her run to the round of 16, ever since it was discovered the 17 year old had written "believe" on the side of her sneaks. A year ago the Atlanta-native was ranked 221 in the world.

Should Oudin's cinderella run continue this could be much more than a cost efficient exposure buy. This could be a great way to launch an integrated promotion between product, retailer and athlete around the new product line. In the words of one fan, "free shipping to Flushing?"