Osaka and Serena Ace compete –


Life on the pitch has been tough for Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams over the past six months. Injuries, shocking losses and missed tournaments have limited the pair to just nine combined WTA field wins since February, when Osaka won the Australian Open after beating Williams in the semifinals. And yet, their marketing could remain at historic levels.

Osaka ($ 55.2 million) and Williams ($ 35.5 million) lead the world’s highest-paid female athletes, with more than 90% of their totals earned on the field thanks to partners Support. The fall after tennis stars is huge, as third-ranked Simone Biles only earned $ 6 million, according to Sporticoestimates of.

Osaka’s record-breaking tally ranks No.15 among all athletes – male or female – while Williams finished No.44 for gains in the 12 months through May 2021. Roger Federer, LeBron James and Tiger Woods are the only active athletes to earn more endorsements than Osaka over the past year.

“The Osaka brand, while getting complicated for many, remains compelling, especially in the current era of sports marketing, seemingly underlined by activism and advocacy as much as by accomplishments and personality,” David said. Carter, director of Sports Business Group, an industry consultant. . “While it will continue to be a sports marketing force, some will turn it off, while others will increase it.”

Tennis has always been the safest way for female athletes to make money. The prize money is on par with men’s, and endemic sponsors like Nike and Adidas are pouring millions into the biggest stars to help increase their clothing sales. But tennis income is down in the sport outside of Osaka and Williams. COVID-19 slashed revenue and cash prizes from many events, while Wimbledon, with its expected purse of $ 55 million, was completely canceled in 2020. The fewer events also prompted clothing sponsors to reduce payouts by 20-40% for most players. The result: only 30% of today’s top 10 highest-paid female athletes make a living with a racquet, up from 90% last year and 100% in 2019.

The downturn in tennis saw a trio of South Korean golfers claim a spot, led by Jin Young Ko at $ 5.3 million, including $ 2.1 million in cash prizes. The total prize money of the LPGA is $ 73.3 million this year, up 77% over the past 10 years.

The Korean LPGA golf boom was started by Se-ri Pak, who was the only Korean player on the Tour when she joined full-time in 1998. She set the Tour on fire in her debut. decade, and in 2008 there were 45 Korean LPGA members.

“Korea continues to be a very strong market for LPGA Tour players and for women’s golf in general, and lately we have seen a steady increase in sponsorship support from large US and global companies looking to leverage the global reach of the LPGA, ”said veteran agent JS Kang, who runs Epoch Sports Group and represents some of the best players in the LPGA; Kang would not disclose any contractual details about his clients.

Soccer stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, as well as skier Mikaela Shiffrin, all earned at least $ 3.5 million from endorsements and made it into the top 10, per Sportico estimates. It might not be NBA star sneaker money, but it’s on par with what the biggest stars in baseball and hockey earn off the field and the ice. Brands like Mastercard are looking to balance their sports sponsorships with investments in female athletes. Osaka agent Stuart Duguid said Sportico in May, being a woman definitely made her more attractive to sponsors. “There is a big push to invest in women in sport,” he said.

Companies certainly spend more on individual, team and league sponsorship for female athletes, but salaries remain a fraction of those in male leagues because revenues are not in the same stratosphere. The NBA TV contract is roughly 100 times that of the WNBA, which is reflected in player salaries.

Osaka and Williams made it to the top 50 highest paid athletes, but dig a little deeper, and the reality is they would be the only two of the top 1,000 highest paid athletes. Biles made $ 6 million, and there were 865 NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and Premier League athletes combined who earned at least that in salary alone, according to Spotrac data. . Taking the mentions into account, along with every other male athlete around the world in other sports, would push Biles well out of the top 1,000 overall.

Take Ada Hegerberg. The Norwegian striker won the first Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, awarded to the best footballer on the planet. His sponsors – Nike, Mastercard, Hublot and DAZN – are pushing his earnings off the field to seven figures. Hegerberg plays in the best women’s league in the world, in France, and starts her season this week for Olympique de Lyon. Her new three-year contract is worth around $ 600,000 a year, the most for any footballer, but a failure compared to the men, with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo all earning at least $ 70 million in salary and bonus last season.


SporticoEstimates of include all revenue from cash prizes, salaries, bonuses, endorsements, licenses, royalties, memorabilia, appearances, media, and book offerings between June 1, 2020 and June 31, 2020. May 2021. We have not taken into account investment income or deducted for taxes or agency fees. The top 10 took home a total of $ 127 million, including $ 14 million in prizes and salaries.

Highest Paid Female Athletes

1. Naomi Osaka: $ 55.2 million

Prize money: $ 5.2 million; Endorsements: $ 50 million

Speaking out on social issues once sounded the death knell for athlete support, but Osaka’s activism over the past year has raised its mark. She has two dozen sponsor partners, led by Nike, which pays her around $ 10 million a year.

2. Serena Williams: $ 35.5 million

Prize money: $ 1.5 million; Endorsements: $ 34 million

With Subway restaurants becoming her latest sponsorship partner, Williams remains a marketing juggernaut even as she nears her 40th birthday next month, despite her last Grand Slam title which took place four and a half years ago. Its venture capital fund, Serena Ventures, has made more than 50 investments.

3. Simone Biles: $ 6 million

Her 19 gold medals at the World Championships are more than double that of any other gymnast and have made her a marketing star with 11 current partners including Athleta, Visa, United Airlines, Uber Eats and the Mondelez’s Oreo brand. She stages her own post-Olympic Gold Over America Tour, covering 35 cities during the fall.

4. Jin Young Ko: $ 5.6 million

Prize money: $ 2.1 million; Endorsements: $ 3.5 million

Ko won the silver title in 2019 and 2020, with last year’s tally only coming from four events. A pair of major wins in 2019 and the No. 1 global ranking saw major endorsement deals with LG Electronics and Manila-based Solaire Resort & Casino last year.

5. Sei Young Kim: $ 4.7 million

Prize money: $ 1.7 million; Endorsements: $ 3 million

The 28-year-old was named the 2020 LPGA Player of the Year, and she holds the Tour’s all-time 72-hole record at 31 under. She signed a multi-year deal this year with Korean skincare brand Mediheal, promoting the brand on her clothes and hat at events.

6. Garbiñe Muguruza: $ 4.5 million

Prize money: $ 1 million; Endorsements: $ 3.5 million

The Spanish-Venezuelan tennis star recently added deals with Jaguar and Nivea to a portfolio of deep supports that also includes Adidas, Babolat, Beats, Caser Insurance and Maui Jim. She took a three-month business course at Harvard University this year.

7. Alex Morgan: $ 4.3 million

Salary: $ 250,000; Endorsements: $ 4 million

The USWNT and Orlando Pride veteran has racked up the biggest list of supporters in women’s football, with Nike, Coca-Cola, Luna, AT&T, Secret, Volkswagen and more. This year, she launched a new women’s media and commerce company called Togethxr, which last week announced plans to make a documentary on WNBA star Breanna Stewart.

8. Megan Rapinoe: $ 4.1 million

Salary: $ 250,000; Endorsements: $ 3.8 million

The pink-haired captain of the USWNT is highly sought after in the market as a corporate speaker and has developed a hybrid model of traditional endorsements that often have an advisory component as she takes the pulse of people deprived of their own. rights. Major partnerships include Nike, BodyArmor, Subway, Victoria’s Secret, Schmidt Deodorant, Cliff Bar and Symetra Insurance.

9. Mikaela Shiffrin: $ 3.9 million

Prize money: $ 411,000; Endorsements: $ 3.5 million

Shiffrin has dominated the snow since turning pro at age 15 in 2011. Her 69 World Cup wins, including a record 17 in 2019, already rank second all-time behind Lindsey Vonn. Ski racing is very popular in Europe and its dominance has attracted more than a dozen personal sponsors, including Adidas, Atomic, Barilla, Bose, Comcast, Land Rover, Oakley and Visa.

10. Inbee Park: $ 3.7 million

Prize money: $ 1.7 million; Endorsements: $ 2 million

Park built a Hall of Fame resume in 15 years as a pro, with seven major titles, an Olympic gold medal and four stints as a world No.1 player. His career $ 17.7 million awards are ranked fourth all-time.

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