Names & Faces: Caroline Wozniacki Taking Leaps Off The Court
Caroline Wozniacki will enter the French Open Sunday as the No. 1 seed, and USA TODAY's Bobby Chintapalli in a sports section cover story notes Wozniacki's "sunny disposition, pleasing looks and youth haven't gone unnoticed by sponsors." She represents around a "dozen companies, including Adidas, Rolex and Sony Ericsson." Wozniacki last year earned a reported $6M "from endorsements and appearance fees," and her $9M total earnings "likely ranked behind" only Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams among female tennis players. Wozniacki has added Yonex, Turkish Airlines, Oriflame and Compeed this year as new sponsors, and Lagardere Unlimited Tennis President John Tobias, Wozniacki's agent, predicts the combination of the new deals and an extension with Sony Ericsson will earn his client "close to $12 million" this year. Tobias: "She is the best I've ever worked with as far as meeting the needs of sponsors" (USA TODAY, 5/18).
CITY DWELLER: CNBC.com's Darren Rovell noted the Davie-Brown Index shows that Thunder F Kevin Durant's "best attribute is endorsement." Durant ranks No. 389 out of the "nearly 2,800 celebrities in their database," reflecting that his endorsement "means more to fans than anyone in the NBA" except for Heat G Dwyane Wade, Celtics C Shaquille O'Neal and Magic C Dwight Howard. Thanks to his 680,000 followers on Twitter, Nike "used him in a viral campaign called 'Superstar Next Door,' which garnered millions of hits." In addition, an app called "The World Of Kevin Durant" is "on its way." Rovell noted if there is "any area where Durant needs to improve it's awareness," where he ranked "lower than the average NBA player" (CNBC.com, 5/17).
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt tops SportsPro magazine's second annual ranking of the "world's 50 most marketable athletes," passing Heat F LeBron James, who dropped to No. 2. Real Madrid MF Cristiano Ronaldo ranks No. 3 on the list, published in the June issue of SportsPro magazine and which "comprises the 50 athletes deemed by SportsPro to offer value for marketing money if signed today to a long-term global endorsement deal." This year's list features five women, 19 U.S. athletes and 16 that were not on last year's list (SPORTSPROMEDIA.com, 5/17).