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SBD Global/September 12, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Andy Murray Could See Sponsorship Earnings Triple After Winning Elusive First Grand Slam

Andy Murray poses with the U.S. Open trophy after beating Novak Djokovic Monday.
Andy Murray's commercial earnings could "potentially triple as he catapulted himself into an elite sports sponsorship league occupied by stars such as David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton," after winning the U.S. Open Monday night, according to Lisa O'Carroll of the London GUARDIAN. Murray is now a target for global sponsors "itching for association with his sporting prowess." Murray's earnings are currently estimated at £7M ($11.2M) a year, but could reach £20-25M ($32-40M) if he is "carefully managed." Brand Rapport Dir Nigel Currie said, "Golf and tennis are two of the richest and two of the most global sports, so when you reach the top in this sport, the possibilities are boundless." He added: "I think it will be the big global brands, like the ones we have seen in the Olympics -- the Samsungs, the Visas, the McDonald's and Coca-Colas that go for it." Murray's sponsors currently include adidas, Royal Bank of Scotland, Head and watch company Rado (GUARDIAN, 9/11). MARKETING WEEK's Sebastian Joseph noted that Slingshot Sponsorship Sales Manager Nick Anderson said that the "continued theme of Britishness" following the Olympics makes Murray an attractive partner for the right brands in spite of not being "the most charismatic sports personality." Anderson: "Being widely known for his serious persona, Murray could also appeal to a wide range of new potential sponsors from sports performance to more corporate institutions along with brands even looking to play on this stereotype from an ironic perspective” (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 9/11). BLOOMBERG's Mason Levinson reported that Murray's victory will pay dividends in endorsement deals and sponsorships "long after he retires." Z Sports & Entertainment Managing Dir Scott Becher said, "By winning the U.S. Open, Andy Murray cemented his legacy. Winning Grand Slams defines your legacy after you retire." Q Scores Exec VP Henry Schafer said that Murray’s limited awareness among American consumers "could hinder his endorsement potential." The company’s most recent study, released this month, showed Murray was recognized by 15% of the U.S. population, compared with 40% for Roger Federer (BLOOMBERG, 9/11).

RIGHT ON TIME: The London TELEGRAPH reported after winning, Murray “dropped to his knees, took off his wristbands and discovered one element of his timing was missing on the night.” Murray said, "I don't have my watch." Murray, who “recently signed a sponsorship deal with watchmakers Rado,” pointed to his wrist and looked to girlfriend Kim Sears for help. Murray was heard saying, “I don't have it, I don't have it. ... Have you got my watch? I don't have my watch.” Sears pointed to one of Murray’s bags where he retrieved his £2,500 ($4,000) D-Star Automatic Chronograph watch "in plenty of time to show it off to the world” (TELEGRAPH, 9/11). London DAILY MAIL columnist Des Kelly said, "At this great moment of sporting history, Andy Murray seems to be worried about whether he has his sponsor's watch on?" Satirical account The Bugle wrote, "BREAKING: Andy Murray's day has just got a whole lot better. He has found his watch." Rado would "undoubtedly be rubbing their hands with glee" as photos of Murray and his watch getting "up close and personal with the trophy were beamed around the world" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/11).

FERGIE CHEERS ON: In London, Chris Jones reported that ManU Manager Alex Ferguson admitted watching Murray win "had been more nerve racking than being in charge of Manchester United on match day." Ferguson raced from a business meeting in Manhattan to "join the Murray camp" courtside at Flushing Meadows. Ferguson: "It was an absolute privilege to be at the final and see Andy win the title. And I love tennis" (INDEPENDENT, 9/11).

LTA LOOKS FOR BOOST: The PA reported that Lawn Tennis Association CEO Roger Draper hopes Murray's success can help "turn around a fall in the number of adults playing the sport." The LTA had its funding cut by Sport England in April "due to disappointing participation figures." Murray's Olympic triumph earlier this summer "sparked an increase in club membership," and Draper is banking on Murray's U.S. Open victory "having a similar effect." Draper said, "When Andy won the Olympics, 4,000 new members signed up in the space of a week. The message we are getting is that there has been an upturn in people wanting to get involved" (PA, 9/11).

THE FALLOUT: BLOOMBERG's Danielle Rossingh reported that U.K. bookmakers paid out £1M ($1.6M) on Murray winning the U.S. Open. Bookmaker William Hill spokesperson Joe Crilly said, "We took quite a hit." William Hill paid out about £250,000 ($402,000), its "biggest-ever sum on an individual winning the U.S. Open." The bookmaker offered odds of 5-to-1 on Murray winning the tournament (BLOOMBERG, 9/11). The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported that Murray has been offered the Freedom of Stirling by the Stirling Council. Stirling, Scotland is near Murray's hometown of Dunblane. The Stirling Council has "been in touch with Murray's management team to discuss tributes for their local hero" (DAILY RECORD, 9/11).
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