Naomi Osaka Leads IMG To Start Her Office, Evolve

The tennis player of Naomi Osaka, one of the greatest athletes in the world, has brought the best known characters in the last 16 months.

His accomplishments have been restricted in court because he himself was fired for controlling his struggles with mental health, passion and physical illness. temporary, but she enjoyed the success of the court, making her career as one of the world’s highest paid athletes and by far the highest paid woman. rank soccer.

As he sat out the Italian Open to take care of Achilles’ injury and prepare for the second annual Grand Slam event, the French Open, scheduled for later this month, Osaka announced that he would started an agency to manage its gains. business portfolio. Osaka and its longtime partner, Stuart Duguid, have left IMG, the sports and entertainment organization, to launch Evolve, which will manage Osaka’s business interests and potential of other users product organization can sign.

News of Osaka’s decision to start Evolve was first reported by Sportico.

The four-time Grand Slam singles champion, Osaka, 24, earned an estimated $ 60 million last year, according to Forbes, with an estimated $ 55 million from more than a dozen sponsors. He has been tied for 12th on Forbes list of the most recognizable athletes with Tiger Woods. Conor McGregor, mixed athlete, holds the top spot on the list, earning $ 180 million.

In an interview on Wednesday, the Duguid said that Osaka’s main focus is still on tennis and tournament. He says he routinely includes training and therapy with his physiotherapist the morning after lunch, but once too, he almost always wants to be part of his routine. leadership or business.

“He’s not a fan of video games and binge Netflix every day,” said Duguid, who has worked closely with Osaka since he was a teenager.

Osaka’s ranking has dropped for the past year and a half, due to its limited form. It was ranked second in the world at the beginning of 2021, but dropped to 85th this year. He made it to the final of the Miami Open in April, and climbed to 38th, and he hopes to climb to the top 10 by the end of the year.

“I would be lying if I said I did not want to be No. 1 anymore,” he said of the Miami tournament.

An IMG spokeswoman declined to comment.

Losing the Star of Osaka size is a significant loss for the company, although it would seem to be gaining more money from the existing deals it has negotiated to represent. It is one of the cell of tennis stars IMG has represented for the past two years. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have emerged from IMG stools in recent years to start business with their representatives, Tony Godsick and Carlos Costa.

For Osaka, the goal of Evolve is not only to save money on payments to third parties, but also to grow its business to $ 150 million annually in the coming year. , by approximately $ 50 million today, but not by signing the contract that was put in place. many company logos on his tennis clothes.

The Duguid have suggested that Osaka may make its case agreeable. The model for Evolve is similar to the one set up by several Osaka models in the sports industry, many of whom have become close friends, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Osaka was also close to Kobe Bryant, who died in 2020 in a helicopter crash and who was his early mentor.

He has weighed in on an industry like Evolve since the Tokyo Olympics, where he set up the Olympic cauldron and was the face of the Games in Japan, his home country. Osaka needs many ways to invest in the industry, have members in them and grow itself. He started Kinlò, a skin care company focused on people with melanated, or dark, skin tones, last year.

The announcement comes the day after Osaka left the US Open following a flurry of harassment by Leylah Fernandez, a Canadian non-crop farmer, in our neighborhood. He announced in a shocking news conference after the match that he planned to take a break from playing tennis. He previously left seven weeks after he left the French Open last spring after a dispute with the tournament organizers. Osaka has said it will not attend any of the media conferences that will be held after the tournament. Agencies threatened to throw him out of the race if he did not complete his media career, so Osaka withdrew.

Neither relaxation nor its decline in rankings seems to have affected his ability to grow his business out of court. Now, Duguid has said he will try to keep his key role out of the courtroom as he tries to regain what he once had.

He said “This is something that scratches the itch on the side for him,” he said.

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