Since Forbes magazine began tracking athletes' income 30 years ago (1990), the first position on that list has always been occupied by a tennis player. And now it is the turn of the Japanese Naomi Osaka, with 35 million euros earned in the last 12 months. The award and sponsorship revenue of the winner of two Grand Slam tournaments was more than a million more than that added by Serena Williams. Both tennis players pulverized the previous 27 million mark, achieved in 2015 by Maria Sharapova.
"For those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively new face with a great backstory," David Carter, a professor of sports business at the University of Southern California, told Forbes. "She combines that with being young and bicultural - two attributes that help her resonate with younger and global audiences - and the result is the emergence of an icon of global sports marketing," he described.
Osaka, whose father was born in Haiti and a Japanese mother, is 29th on the Forbes 2020 list of the 100 highest paid athletes in the world, four places ahead of Serena, who has won 23 individual Grand Slam titles during her extraordinary career. . The list of the 100 highest-paid athletes, to be released in full next week, did not include two women since 2016, Forbes said.
Serena Williams, 38, was the highest-paid in the world for the past four years - she has accumulated more than $ 300 million in her career - while Sharapova held that spot for the previous five years.
Osaka broke into the tennis elite by consecutively winning the 2018 US Open titles, the first Grand Slam victory for a Japanese tennis player, and the 2019 Australian Open. In 2019, Osaka signed a contract with Nike for which It received $ 10 million in the past year and runs through 2025. Other sponsorship deals include Japanese companies Nissan and Yonex, maker of rackets and sports equipment.
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