Playing Tennis Can Make an Athlete Rich, But Not in the Way You Might Be Thinking.
Do you remember being a kid and dreaming of being a rich professional athlete? Chances are you’ve imagined going pro in at least one of your childhood sports. After all athletes make millions of dollars and who wouldn’t want to make millions of dollars. That’s everyone’s dream!
When it comes to tennis the prizes you can earn in tournaments are just one small fragment of the potential money you stand to earn in endorsements. In fact for many players tournament earnings account for only around 10% of what they make overall. For every $1 million in tournament earnings — you could be making another $10 million in sponsorships. This doesn’t come easy. You’re likely going to need an agency to achieve these types of figures. Here’s a list of the ten highest paid tennis players male or female in the past 12 months. The lowest paid is $10 MILLION DOLLARS which I think we can all agree is a pretty hefty sum. We’ll also take a look at which agencies these athletes are currently signed to. Agencies in tennis are not locked under 5% like in other league sports.
- Federer — Team8
- Osaka — Evolve
- Serena Williams —MN2S
- Nadal — Self managed.
- Djokovic — Unknown
- Raducanu — IMG Tennis Agency
- Medvedev — MN2S
- Nishikori — MN2S
- Venus Williams — Jill Smoller
- Alcaraz — IMG Tennis Agency
How Tennis Agents Changed Everything
Tennis agents were able to tie performance contracts and ranking which for performance athletes is also tied to their draw into their sponsorship earnings. Players earn bonuses on their contracts when they win matches or progress deeper into tournaments. They also benefit from higher rankings which give them entry into bigger tournaments where they achieve more ranking points and earn more prize money. Agents were able to bring in big brands after tennis became a professional sport in 1968. Now that tennis has been commercialized many professional tennis players have similar sponsors in apparel, watches, shoes, and even media and smartphone manufacturers.
High earnings does not equal higher rankings. Of the highest paid tennis players only two are currently in the top 10 and two are retired.
What does it mean for tennis? There’s a delicate balance between someone who is commercialized for their look, a model. And someone who is a performance athlete. One major difference is fans! Models don’t really have fans, while actors and athletes do. All of these professions use agents, yet the sports agent, and perhaps the tennis agent, is the most demanding because of the rigorous demands of a professional tennis players schedule. If you know anything about Tennis, you know it’s not an easy sport and it’s top athletes are extremely well trained. Most top athletes are training almost daily even in the off season to be in peak form. Being in the best condition possible gives sports athletes such as tennis players optimal chances for achieving results.