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BUSINESS WEEK EXAMINES IF VENUS' ENDORSEMENT STAR WILL SHINE
Published September 22, 1997
The "appeal" of Venus Williams is profiled by Brad Wolverton in BUSINESS WEEK. At the U.S. Open, some "declared Williams the Tiger Woods of tennis, other players on the tour took potshots at her, and her father complained about racism in the sport. In the aftermath of all that unpleasantness, the unavoidable question is: Has Venus damaged her potential as a star spokesperson?" Wolverton: "Hip youth brands might embrace Venus as a feisty young woman taking some of the starch out of the largely white world of tennis." Daisy Sinclair of Ogilvy & Mather: "She's definitely sellable." Other than her five-year, $3M deal with Reebok for shoes and apparel, Venus "has no endorsement deals." Wolverton: "She is one of the few pro players without a racket contract. Her agent, Seattle lawyer Keven Davis, who also represents Tonya Harding, won't disclose the names of corporations interested in Williams. But he says 25 companies called the day after Venus lost at the Open. Now, if they'll just call back" (BUSINESS WEEK, 9/29 issue).