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Game, set and cash for impeccable Emma

China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-15 16:26
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US Open champ tipped to become one of world's most marketable athletes

Emma Raducanu poses with the US Open trophy in New York on Saturday. The 18-year-old Briton's mixed heritage is one of a number of factors that position her as perfect marketing material, according to experts. [Photo/Agencies]

Emma Raducanu's astonishing US Open triumph could lead to a pot of gold worth around 20 million pounds ($27.7 million) over the next two years-and that may be just the start, according to sports marketing experts.

The 18-year-old Briton was almost unheard of before reaching the fourth round at this year's Wimbledon, having earned around $40,000 since her senior debut three years ago.

After becoming Britain's first female Grand Slam champion for 44 years and the new golden girl of women's tennis, Raducanu's earning potential is set to enter the stratosphere.

The $2.5 million she picked up in prize money for beating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in a final that captivated the sporting world may soon seem like loose change.

Raducanu's mixed heritage, a stunning game, and engaging personality make her "brand gold "according to one sports marketing expert.

She is already a cover girl for the October edition of British Vogue and major global brands in everything from fashion to cars and jewellery will be queuing at the doors of IMG, her management company.

"There is no limit in what she can achieve on the court," Tim Lopez, director at sports marketing firm CSM, told Reuters on Monday.

"She's hugely in demand already but to follow that up with continued success in the majors in tennis will see her rapidly become one of the most marketable athletes on the planet."

With its global reach and equal exposure, tennis offers a road to riches for top female players.

Japan's Naomi Osaka earned $55 million, not including prize money, in the past year, according to Forbes magazine. Of the world's 10 highest-paid sportswomen, nine are tennis players.

Lopez says Raducanu, whose mother is Chinese and father is Romanian, shares the same marketing appeal as four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father is Haitian.

"If you use that as a yardstick not just because of their career trajectory but also their shared appeal and that they are both engaging and from mixed-heritage backgrounds," he said.

"That's a huge benefit from a brand perspective, from an eyeballs point of view there is no bigger market to tap into."

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