The Brand Novak Djokovic: Sponsors (Part 1)
As one of the Big Four in tennis, Novak Djokovic has plenty of on-court and off-court appeal to tennis fans and sponsors.
Djokovic has been ranked number one for over 220 weeks, including 122 consecutive weeks. In June 2016 he became the first player in tennis history to cross the $100 million prize money barrier and has now earned over $125 million in career prize money (ATP as of January 2019)
Although his on-court earnings have dropped recently due to poorer performances, the Serb still earns a lot of money off-court from endorsements. Forbes Annual Ranking of top-paid athletes puts Djokovic’s endorsement earnings at $22 million in the past year alone. Which makes him fourth in the ranking of endorsement income for tennis players, only behind Federer, Nishikori and Nadal.
Below we take a look at Djokovic’s sponsors that contribute to the $22 million of endorsement income. In a second part about Djokovic’s brand we look at the Serb’s businesses, including the Novak Djokovic Foundation and restaurants he owns.
Novak Djokovic’s sponsors
At the moment Djokovic has five companies listed on his website. ‘Ultimate Software’ seems to be a sixth partner. The company is not listed on his website, but is visible on his sleeve during the 2019 Australian Open.
Noticeable is that this is (far) less than the number of sponsors both Nadal (9) and Federer (12) have. In addition to sponsors for his on-court gear, Djokovic works with a watchmaker and a charity organisation.
Some of Djokovic’s previous sponsorship deals were with car manufacturer Peugeot, bank ANZ and apparel brand Uniqlo.
Lacoste and the Djokovic logo
In May 2017 Lacoste announced Djokovic as their newest ambassador, after the Serb’s five-year deal with Uniqlo came to an end.
Lacoste produces a Novak Djokovic collection, which includes both tournament and supporters items. In March 2018 an announcement was made that Lacoste’s Djokovic line would add three sunglasses styles. Apart from the crocodile logo, Djokovic’s personal logo is also visible on several pieces.
Lacoste does not produce tennis shoes. So like during his time with Uniqlo, Djokovic relies on another brand for his shoes. For a long time he wore Adidas shoes. He even had an own line with the German brand. However, in January of 2018 he made the switch to Japanese sports apparel company Asics. The two parties immediately launched Novak’s own shoe: the GEL-RESOLUTION NOVAK.
Djokovic Head rackets
In May 2018 sports equipment company Head announced new long-term sponsorship contracts with Djokovic and Alexander Zverev. Novak has been playing with Head rackets since 2001. He is often featured in the company’s commercials and online content.
Djokovic came into the Team Head sponsorship programme as a teenager. To give other talented teenagers a similar chance, the company has set up the ‘Next Novak’ campaign. Based on submitted videos, talented players are chosen to become part of Team Head and thus bag a sponsorship deal.
Watches from Seiko
With watchmaker Seiko, Djokovic has another Japanese partner. The two parties joined forces in 2014 and in 2016 extended their deal by four years until the end of 2020.
Seiko has launched several Djokovic-inspired limited edition watches during the partnership. In September 2018, 1500 Seiko Astron Executive Sports Line Novak Djokovic Limited Edition watches will be on sale. The watch includes special details like a nod to the tennis scoring system, a star honouring Novak as one of only eight players to have won a career Grand Slam, highlighting the Grand Slam time zones and his signature on the case back.
Djokovic as Unicef Goodwill Ambassador
In August 2015 Djokovic became a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador after having been a National Unicef Ambassador in Serbia since 2011. This partnership cannot be classified as a sponsorship of course. However, Unicef and the Novak Djokovic Foundation do team up together to achieve their charity goals and to make a difference.
Although Djokovic ranks behind some of his competitors when it comes to endorsement income, he still earns quite a lot from his marketability. In the past he had more so-called off-court sponsors, so there are still opportunities to increase his endorsement income even further.
In the second part of The Brand Novak Djokovic we take a look at Djokovic’s businesses.