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SBD Global/January 28, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketers Swirling Around Li Na After Her Australian Open Singles Title

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Chinese tennis player Li Na "is set to earn a lot more" than just her $2.3M prize money for winning the 2014 Australian Open as "top brands from around the world continue to compete for her endorsement," according to the WANT CHINA TIMES. Li "is now said to have 13 endorsement deals," which includes Nike, Babolat, Rolex, remedial tape company SpiderTech, Mercedes-Benz, Chinese insurer Taikang Life, Crown, Visa and Samsung. This makes her the Chinese athlete "with the most corporate partnerships," ahead of track star Liu Xiang and retired retired NBA player Yao Ming (WANT CHINA TIMES, 1/27). Wealth-X estimates the net worth of Li to be $40M after her singles win at the Australian Open last weekend. Li became the first Asian to win the Australian Open. She also became the oldest winner of the tournament's women's title (Wealth-X). In N.Y., Will Davies wrote WTA Chair & CEO Stacey Allaster said that it is "no coincidence" that women's tennis has experienced rapid growth in Asia since Li "started to reach the business end of Grand Slam tournaments." Allaster said, "Li is the most influential player this decade for the growth of women’s tennis." Australian Open organizers said that Li was "the most popular female player during the tournament in terms of social media attention" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/27).
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