By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Naomi Osaka, the twenty-three-year-old Japanese singles tennis player, with several grand slam singles titles to her credit, including the Australian and US Opens in 2019 and 2020 respectively, is one of the most marketable athletes in the world.
In 2019, she earned around US$16 million in endorsements, which made her the second highest paid female athlete in the world, after fellow tennis player, Serena Williams.
The following year, she became the highest paid female athlete in the world of all time, with earnings of US$37.4 million, including US$34 million in endorsements.
Osaka relinquished her US nationality and opted for Japanese nationality, when she was twenty-two years old, as required by Japanese Law, which does not allow dual nationality, in order to compete for Japan, the country of her birth, in the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Summer Games, which are scheduled to take place later in the year.
She is a brand ambassador for Nissan, the Japanese automobile manufacturer, and for Citizen Watch, the Japanese electronics manufacturer.
She also endorses the products and services of other Japanese companies, including Nissin Foods and All Nippon Airways.
Osaka is also an active supporter of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and, in these Covid-19 Pandemic times, wears masks when she plays with the names of those who have died in police shootings.
Such activism has earned her the title, in 2020, of ‘Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year’.
It will be interesting to see what further success she achieves in her professional tennis career in 2021 and whether she continues to top the women athlete’s financial charts!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’