SBD/September 13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Stosur Likely To See Marketing Bump From U.S. Open Win, But Big Bucks May Allude Her

Stosur may need another Grand Slam win to really see endorsements increase

U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur will “pay a high price for being an Australian,” as the local market “is unlikely to offer her the millions that would flow if she were from the US, Europe or China,” according to Simon Canning of THE AUSTRALIAN. However, sports management and marketing experts said that her win over Serena Williams Sunday "has legitimized her as a tennis player and, more importantly, as a powerful marketing property in the local market.” Stosur will be able to “up the ante for sponsors in the comparatively limited Australian market.” It is thought Stosur "will be able to negotiate six-figure deals on the back of the win, but will see massive growth only if she can add another grand slam title to her trophy case.” She already has sponsorship deals with Lacoste, McCain Foods, Jetstar, Babolat, Oakley, Orix and Usana Health Sciences (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/13). Lacoste today ran a full-page ad in the N.Y. Times congratulating Stosur on her win (THE DAILY).

NOT GOING ANYWHERE FOR A WHILE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Daniel Kaplan reports rumors swirled last week that U.S. Open champ Novak Djokovic "would be making an apparel and sneaker change," but Sergio Tacchini's Edoardo Artaldi said that his company "has Djokovic under contract for 15 years." If Djokovic's tennis career ends prior to the deal ends, he "will continue to represent the brand with an ambassador status.” This is “the first time Tacchini has come public with the duration of the contract” since Djokovic signed the deal in late '09. Djokovic wears adidas shoes while playing, as Tacchini "currently does not make tennis footwear." However, Artaldi said that adidas "is prohibited from using Djokovic’s image." Artaldi added that “many sneaker brands have inquired about Djokovic’s availability, including Chinese and Japanese brands” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/12 issue).

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: Williams was fined $2,000 for her outburst against the chair umpire during the women’s final against Stosur. ABC News’ Andrea Canning noted the fine is "virtually nothing when compared to the $1.4 million she took home from the U.S. Open," but the "cost to her reputation in the court of public opinion could prove more pricey” (“World News,” ABC, 9/12). ESPN’s J.A. Adande noted Williams "had everybody talking about her outburst instead of the fact that this match was a blowout.” The “irony is I’ve never seen her more gracious toward an opponent in defeat, but nobody’s going to be talking about that.” However, when asked if this incident, coupled with the incident two years ago at the U.S. Open when she berated a line judge, could affect her legacy, Adande said, “Two outbursts versus 13 Grand Slams? I think we’re going to be talking about the 13 Grand Slams” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 9/12).

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