Naomi Osaka goes from booed champion to becoming the face of Adidas in a historic deal
From boos to cheers, Naomi Osaka is now a much-loved champion and brands are fighting to have her as their ambassador
When Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open final over the weekend to win her first Grand Slam title, she was booed. But in an emotional turn of events, and after Serena Williams took to the stage, the overwhelmed audience came around and cheered Osaka's victory.
Since then the soft-spoken champion has won people's heart.
From boos to cheers. An emotional and powerful moment for Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams at the US Open podium. (🔊⬆️) pic.twitter.com/oTg6SORjXe— ESPN (@espn) September 8, 2018
On Wednesday, Osaka made an appearance on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' and the 20-year-old obviously stole the show. Ellen played cupid and texted Michael B Jordan on her behalf and of course, he responded with a long video congratulating her.
As a winner of hearts worldwide, Osaka is turning into a favorite ambassador of several brands and is now signing a historic deal with Adidas. Reports have it that Osaka is close to signing a deal with Adidas that would make her the brand’s highest-paid female athlete.
The deal could be worth up to $10 million a year and may result in the richest endorsement deal ever signed in women’s tennis. Osaka’s current four-year deal with Adidas said to be worth about $100,000 a year, expires on December 31.
Osaka has also sealed a deal with Nissan that will make the daughter of a Haitian-born father and Japanese mother, raised mainly in the US — a “brand ambassador” for the Japanese automaker.
At the contract signing event at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, the new champion said; "Growing up, my dad drove a Nissan, so being able to be a brand ambassador now, it feels like I’ve come full circle.”
Following the deal with Nissan, sponsors hope for better marketing opportunity with the tennis star around the 2020 Olympics, according to reports.
Why? Because Osaka is now one of the hottest properties in tennis after her epic win and global brands are fighting hard to make her mixed-race image their global face. But for Japanese companies, in particular, her win was "perfect timing," because the historic win comes just before Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020. Osaka's position as "a Japanese player competing on the world stage" will be the ideal platform for Japanese businesses operating in the global market, says a manager at a major Japanese advertisement agency.
Besides these, Osaka also has endorsement deals with racquet maker Yonex, Nissin Foods, Wowow and Citizen Watch.