The 2018 US Open Champion, Naomi Osaka, just became the highest paid athlete that is a woman at the tender age of 22. The Forbes annual report published that this past year’s earnings from prize monies and endorsements had her pulling in 37.4 million dollars. The past four years tennis phenomenon Serena Williams had sat atop the list. However it is Osaka who will wear the crown this year as she set a record with her $37.4 million bag.
“To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great back story,” Sports business professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business, David Carter, told Forbes. “Combine that with being youthful and bicultural, two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences, and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon.”
Osaka recently signed a unique endorsement deal with Nike that allows her to place different company logos on her clothing. She is the first tennis player that Nike has offered this lucrative clause to. Her popularity is global and she is anticipated to be one of the main draws when the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games occur.
“I’m really interested in seeing a young business grow and adding value to that process,” Osaka expressed to Forbes the previous year. “I tasked my team with finding brands that align with my personality and my interests.”
It looks like her team delivered, as her business on and off the court is booming.