I’m standing here in our conference room in front of the larger-than-life portrait of Boris Becker, which adorns an entire wall in a FanFrame, in this important room for us for customer presentations. Why is quickly explained!
It should always remind our employees, our customers, but also us as owners of our beginnings at APA Brands Events Solutions.
On July 7, a historic event happened at Wimbledon in 1985. As a 17-year-old, Boris Becker was in the final of one of the world’s most important tennis tournaments against South African Kevin Curren. In a close match, the youngster from Leimen decided the match in his favor. This triumph made Boris the youngest ever Wimbledon champion. It was the start of a furious career in which he bagged a total of 64 tournament victories and won six Grand Slams.
Two months later, I founded APA with my friend and business partner. The goal was to build on the success story of this exceptional young talent and use the unprecedented tennis hype to build a business. At that time, we developed the first tennis screen distribution for printed promotional tennis screens via catalog mailing as direct mail order. There were no e-mails yet – people still wrote telexes or sent catalogs by mail, like Otto-Versand and us. In this way, we offered tennis clubs the chance to refinance themselves and to attract advertising partners to help finance their playing operations or club facilities.
To this day, one of the “bread and butter businesses” of our house. I am all the more saddened by what has become of this icon.
A young man who rose to tennis heaven overnight, celebrating huge successes – advertising contracts, media hype, million-dollar fees.
This is precisely where Boris Becker’s problem lay. Too young, too much, too fast. Bad advisors, false friends, advice-resistant Boris, at the latest from his 18th birthday. Say what you will about Ion Tiriac, but if Boris Becker had not broken with the top manager in ’93, the story would probably have been different.
I’m not looking for excuses for Boris, but it helps me to better compensate for my melancholy over this deep fall. The court ruling may be just, even though many ripped-off unscrupulous managers probably got off much better than Boris Becker is now. Justice remains so much more than justice.
A court is always also the stage for an encounter with a person, a way of life, a society. In this case, simply tragic.