Meet the man behind the wheel of the Athletic DNA RV

Watch for the Athletic DNA RV at tournaments across the country

I’m excited we’re now carrying Athletic DNA at Tennis Warehouse. Aside from the bold use of color, sweet logo and “make it happen” attitude the brand exudes, there’s another reason I’m drawn to Athletic DNA. Simply put: Athletic DNA is us. By us, I don’t mean Tennis Warehouse. I mean tennis players. Athletic DNA knows that competitive tennis players even at the junior level are often on the road traveling to various tournaments, and Athletic DNA wants to be at some of those tournaments to offer support to its athletes. And just like the juniors playing in those tournaments, ADNA hits the road to get there.

Like I said, the guys over at Athletic DNA know tennis and what it takes to be a tennis player. They know the dedication it takes to rise to the top of the tennis rankings, and they’re dedicated to helping their players get there. To get ADNA players the support they need, someone has to be dedicated enough to make the trip — or as the case may be, the drive.

I got the driver of the giant ADNA RV (like all the acronyms?) to share a bit about himself. Meet Evan Zeder, director of sales and marketing, tennis player and all-around good guy.

How did you get started in tennis?
I started in tennis because everyone on my mother’s side played tennis. All of her brothers played college tennis, and when I look back, I think the only reason she got me started was so I could eventually beat my uncles!

What was your tennis life before joining ADNA?
Before ADNA I played junior tennis growing up, and then went on and played for the University of Illinois. Knowing how much of a grind the junior circuit was when we played, and really wanting to do something different on that level, was a lot of the inspiration for our brand. Luckily, I played on a great college team and one of my closest friends and teammates, Mike Calkins, helped bring me into ADNA, and we also have some of our pros on Tour wearing the brand that were former teammates of mine and Mike’s.

How did playing college tennis prepare you for life after graduation?
Playing college tennis did an unbelievable job helping me for life after graduation. It’s like having a full-time job on top of all of the school work you have to finish. I would say the areas it helped me the most were organization and work ethic. I went to regular high school and never had home schooling, and as a result I was just used to showing up to school, going to class and then leaving for practice. When I went off to college it was a big adjustment for me to learn how to effectively set up my schedule and maximize my time on and off the court for tennis and school. Illinois did an unbelievable job at giving us constant support from our coaches, advisers and teammates to help us work through this process, and our coaches were also great about making sure we worked hard but didn’t burn ourselves out. Without that support, it would have been very difficult to figure out how to balance everything on my own.

What’s your best tennis moment, college or otherwise?
My favorite moment in tennis was my senior year of college. Illinois was hosting the National Indoors in Chicago for the first time in school history. We played Georgia in the quarterfinals, who were ranked higher than us with players like John Isner, and we split the doubles on courts 1 and 2. I was on court 3, and we had a huge crowd that was mostly Illini fans going crazy after each point with the match tied 7-7. We then broke them, and I had to serve out the match. I had my serve going that day and served an ace on match point, it was one of the only times I had a match come down to my court in college, so it was pretty memorable for me. It is actually scary how I can remember each point, but that’s tennis. I can easily go through each point of the tough losses too, but I’m happy you didn’t ask about those!

Did you ever think you’d be driving such a big RV as part of your job?
Absolutely not. One of my partners called me and told me the idea and I thought he was joking. After seeing it, and realizing how much of an impact it could make, I just got in it and took off. I would say I have a love/hate relationship with it now, although it’s been behaving for the last couple of months so it’s getting on my good side.

Any great tales from the road?
Too many to fit here! The RV may look impressive when it pulls up, but it doesn’t always cooperate with me! One of my favorites is when I was in Midland, TX, and had left the RV at a storage place for three weeks. When I left, apparently Texas went through an uncharacteristic cold front, and the temperature had gone under freezing for a week straight. Apparently when you leave an RV and it gets cold, you are supposed to “winterize” them, something I would’ve loved to know when I started driving it. When I turned the RV on, I heard water gushing onto the ground below it and realized it was going to be a long day. Apparently all of the pipes had frozen while I was gone and now I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with a busted RV. After calling the only 3 places in town, luckily the last one picked up and a guy came out to meet me. The RV could only drive about a mile without breaking down, so I would drive it, it would shut off, then I would restart and go another mile. Once I arrived at the guy’s RV site, he told me he would be lucky to fix it in a couple days, and with no car, and no hotel anywhere around, I asked if he could just lock the gates and let me crash in it. He said no problem because they lived on site, and for the next couple days I helped him fix it and ate dinner with him and his wife. I definitely lucked out meeting great people who were willing to help me out, they knew I was clueless as to what was going on!

What’s the best part being on the ADNA team?
The best part of being on the ADNA Team is knowing that I am working for something that I am extremely passionate about and is bigger than myself. Being a part of a brand is like being on a college team, your team is working as hard as they can to have the brand reach the highest level possible. Even though tennis is an individual sport, I have always loved the team aspect. ADNA has that feeling, and everyone who puts the gear on is part of that movement.

What inspired you to be part of ADNA?
In my opinion, tennis hasn’t had a brand truly showcase the athletes that play the sport, and I feel like we are doing that. In a way it is almost selfish, because I know how hard I worked growing up, and I also have seen how hard my teammates, friends and competition have worked. There is a stigma attached to tennis that it doesn’t have the best athletes, which I feel is completely false. It is one of the reasons I love our name because yes we do make clothing that tennis players wear, but we are an athletic apparel company, that just happens to be starting in a sport that has some of the best athletes on the planet.

What so you see in the future for ADNA?
I think we need to walk before we run, or even better, crawl before we walk. We are young, and we need to not look too far ahead. I think our women’s line was a big step for us. We have wanted to do it for a while, but have needed to make sure we come out with quality product. Once we continue to improve on that line, I think we will work on evolving each line to include items that will allow our customers to wear our product not only for tennis, but also for hardcore training and fitness, as well as having on and off court gear. I think when you put on our gear, whether it is training, tennis or wearing it off court, you’re still an athlete, so having that “athletic dna” should be showcased at all times.

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Happy Hitting,
Tiffani, TW

When the clothes talk… Athletic DNA at TW

Now that I’m out of college I decided I need to broaden my horizons from a yellow and green wardrobe and to explore beyond Nike. I will admit, I adore Nike, but every so often different brands bring out apparel that catches my eye. This is where my problem lies. The way our office is set up makes my life difficult. If I want to get a drink, or if I’m filming, I have to walk out the door to the left, and the door to the left is surrounded by the clothing racks that are filled with all the new clothes that are about to be sold to you guys. And, as it is with Tennis Warehouse and the brands we carry, there are always cool clothes there. I’ll let you in on a secret that I haven’t told anyone before now, but the clothes, they actually talk to me. Strange, I know, but they say things like, “Buy me, buy meeeee!”

The brand talking the loudest this week is Athletic DNA. This week, in fact, we came out with Athletic DNA’s new apparel line, and I absolutely love the colors — there’s definitely something for women looking to add a little pop of color to their normal get up. Personally, I am looking forward to the approaching California summer and some humid hitting sessions on our indoor court, so I am particularly liking on the Athletic DNA Women’s Spring Graphic Sports Tank.

Athletic DNA Women's Spring Graphic Sport Tank

Athletic DNA Women's Spring Graphic Sport Tank

This our average tank in all the ways you want, but not your average tank in other ways. It’s your typical racer back with a scoop neck, but the design is very unique. Something I like a lot about it is that it runs long so there’s no worry about your tummy poking out when you don’t want it to. The colorways are fun and eye catching, and the print “Born For This” on the front of the tank stands out. Normally I’m not about graphic tees with anything written on them, but I am taken with these. Something about the color combinations and the graphics that look really sharp. The feature of the Athletic DNA symbol on the front is very cool — it’s in a foil print so is metallic and stands out with a little bit of shine. Check out the options online, there are five and all of them really cool — some of the tanks have the logo print with a color fade which I particularly like.

Athletic DNA Women's Spring Graphic Sport Tank

Athletic DNA Women's Spring Graphic Sport Tank

It’s 100% cotton so it’s really comfy and easy to just slip on. Jump out on court or into the gym, or wear it off-court, out and about. I like the versatility of this Athletic DNA tank because it translates from sporty workout gear into attractive and functional apparel that you can wear anywhere.  For Tiffani’s vlog this week, this tank was paired with the Spring Graphic Short and worn by yours truly, making for a super cute outfit.

Athletic DNA Women's Spring Graphic Sport Tank

Athletic DNA Women's Spring Graphic Sport Tank

The Athletic DNA doesn’t stop there, guys. There’s also a lot of options for you so check out the men’s line and see what’s up. There are also all the adult version in kids sizes for girls and boys, too so all those short people running around your house that call you Mom and Dad can get in on the ADNA action. Ladies, definitely take a peak at the Pullover Hoodie and the Ace Jacket for some fun colors. They talk to me too actually and, funnily enough, they say, “Buy me next!”

Yours,

The resident Kiwi — Siobhan