Some would say that “bad behavior” has paid off well for former football player Colin Kaepernick. This is because he is currently in a controversial Nike ad.
Despite being associated with the NFL’s decline in ratings, the anthem-kneeling controversy and not getting signed to keep playing football, the sportswear company chose Kaepernick as a brand ambassador. According to ESPN, Nike actually signed him to their advertising roster in 2011, but did not use him at all over the past two years.
— CNN (@CNN) September 6, 2018
For those people who wonder what the world has come to when bad behavior is rewarded, Nissan may have just made their day.
Even though tennis pro Serena Williams has star power attached to her name, the auto company opted to go with the woman who defeated her, instead: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018
According to Reuters, Nissan has a number of reasons to choose the biracial Osaka. Obviously, they would include “tapping the tennis star’s youth, drive and Japanese roots to appeal to younger customers.”
But beyond that, she has won the hearts of the Japanese public with more than her amazing tennis talent. “Her self-effacing, deadpan manner” had led to “glowing media reports (which) called her a new heroine for Japan.”
Additionally, she brings something into play that Williams simply does not: a solid representation against bullying.
“As a biracial Japanese, Osaka’s leap into the limelight has brought hope to some ‘haafu,’ or half-Japanese, who have suffered discrimination and bullying in a largely ethnically homogenous country.” Williams, by contrast, is long-associated with bullying behavior and a hair-trigger temper.
Osaka has a personal reason to want to work with Nissan. She told Reuters that “Growing up, my dad drove a Nissan, so being able to be a brand ambassador now, it feels like I’ve come full circle.”
And Nissan is not the only company who signed on the likeable young tennis champion to endorse them. Reuters reported that “Adidas AG, Yonex Co, Nissin Foods Co, Wowow Inc and Citizen Watch Co” are among those who have raced to have her face tied to their brand.
All of that has led to what may be more great things for Osaka. It’s been reported that she may “become highest paid sportswoman in the world in the near future”:
Naomi Osaka announced as new ambassador for Nissan.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 13, 2018
And that would be one more slap in the face to Williams. Just last month she was listed by Forbes as the Highest Paid Athlete of 2018.
“Williams earned a whopping $18.1 million between June 2017 and June 2018, the magazine estimates. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Forbes reported that the tennis star only earned $62,000 in winnings during the 12-month period because she took time off to give birth to her daughter, Olympia.”
This means that only four months of the 12 analyzed were working months for Williams. Other income came her way via her endorsement deals with Beats, Nike, Gatorade and Intel. She also has a fashion collection that brings in revenue. This year is her third at the top of the list.
While Williams and Kapernick are signed with Nike, competitor Adidas will reportedly sign Osaka to be their brand ambassador. Fox News reported that the deal may be the biggest one snagged by a female athlete, to date, with the company.
If signed, the deal is reported to be “worth an estimated $8.5 million annually. Osaka, who is already on Adidas’ payroll, is only reportedly making a ‘six-figure’ salary that will expire this year.”
Fox News also noted that this deal could help Osaka beat the “23-time Grand Slam singles winner” in the highest paid female athlete game, as well. At the very least it would push her much higher up the list, which is something fans are sure to be cheering.
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