Rising star Kyrgios could see sponsorship bonanza

Rising Aussie tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios will earn a bumper pay day for his exploits at Wimbledon but the off-court windfall is likely to far exceed his pay check for reaching the quarter-finals.

Sports marketing experts have predicted the teen sensation, who beat former Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal to reach the last eight, could command lucrative deals from sponsors.

kyrgios nike

Nike’s logo was prominent in TV coverage of Kyrgios’ victory

But to really earn the top dollars he must kick on and repeat his form in forthcoming tournaments.

Sean Pickford, director at celebrity and entertainment agency Waterfront, said brands are likely to latch onto his success.

“Nick Kyrgios is young, fit, good looking and has performed way above expectations. I would say he will be in high demand,” he told Mumbrella.

“People are looking for heroes who perform above expectations and his name is now part of the Australian vernacular. Few people knew him before Wimbledon but they do now.”

Pickford described the worth of Kyrgios before Wimbledon as “not a lot”, despite deals with Nike and tennis racquet manufacturer Yonex.

Kyrgios’ manager, John Morris, quoted in the Brisbane Courier Mail, claimed several potential sponsors had made approaches even prior to his sensational four-set victory over Nadal.

“People are knocking on the door, commercially it’s (Wimbledon) been great for him,” Morris said. “This puts him in the shop window massively with the brand of tennis he’s been playing.”

He claimed Yonex had already offered him six times his current deal.

Jack Lamacraft, director of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, said brands will be taking an instant interest in the Aussie – with his down to earth image one of the attractions.

“I can imagine that ‘Nick Krygios Agent’ has had a few hits on Google this morning,” he said. “From what I can gather, he’s a level headed young man and really committed to his family which will help boost his appeal.

“He’s also really active on social media which is another big plus for brands when considering the appeal of an athlete.”

Lamacraft added that Nike and Yonex  are likely to have spotted Kyrgios’s potential a while ago and secured him on long term contracts. If he continues to develop as a player his negotiating power will rise when the deal comes up for renewal, he said.

“If he keeps his head down and concentrates on his tennis and cracks the top 10 then the skies the limit,” Lamacraft continued. “But as we know, sport is littered with people who were supposed to be the next big thing but never realised their potential. Hopefully he won’t be another one of those.”

Octagon Australia general manager Wylie Fowler said Kyrgios could be hot property, but also warned his current fame may not last long if he fails to perform consistently.

“He will definitely be on the radar and clever marketers will be watching this very closely and initially there could be short term sponsorship deals, providing it fits in with a brand strategy,” he told Mumbrella.

“But one great tournament doesn’t make a great player. We have seen this time and time where people have performed well but never been seen again.”

Steve Jones


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