Jun 30, 2015

Game, Set and Cash! - Cashing in on Being a Sports Celebrity

London fashion designer, Ozwald Boateng, is quoted as saying that: "you cannot have style if you don't have substance", and two-time Wimbledon Ladies Single winner Petra Kvitovia is certainly amassing substance.

It would appear that the style is not too far behind the substance as the Czech born tennis star noted for her low key approach to the celebrity lifestyle has now been signed up to the heavy hitting Image Management Group ("IMG") alongside notable sporting luminaries as Maria Sharapova, Jo Wilfred-Tsonga, Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe.

Whilst IMG hope to duplicate the success they have had with other tennis stars in the past, Marijn Bal, agent to Ms Kvitovia, conceded that: "there is no formula, there are different strategies for different players…we look at their interests and personality and we need to have the right brands that fit their personality."

Speaking to the BBC business website, Ms Kvitovia is also of the same mind: "I think it is important for me to remain 'Petra from Fulnek'…I am a simple girl from a simple background and I think fans have to appreciate my authenticity…I don't need to be any different just because I win tennis matches so hopefully brands appreciate my approach and my likeability, because it is who I am."

Ms Kvitovia stands on the cusp of commoditising her likeability factor to her benefit.  In 2014, Novak Djokovic made a reported £30.5m, of which one-third was prize money and the rest made from sporting deals and commercial branding according to Forbes Magazine.  Ms Kvitovia already has major deals with Wilson and Nike and deals aligned to jewellery and watch makers are sure to follow.

But perhaps taking heed of the above quote, Ms Kvitovia appreciates the importance of maintaining success on the tennis court: "The most important thing is definitely success on the tennis court. I know that if I win matches everything else will fall into place and the money and sponsors will follow".

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