'Insane': Naomi Osaka eclipses Serena Williams in historic payday

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Naomi Osaka (pictured) reacting to the crowd in Australia.
Naomi Osaka (pictured) created history after becoming the highest paid female athlete ever for traditional endorsements in a calendar year in 2020. (Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has made history after toppling Serena Williams to earn the biggest endorsements payday for a female athlete ever in a calendar year.

Many predicted Osaka was destined for greatness after defeating Williams in the 2019 US Open final.

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But not many could have predicted her epic rise in becoming one of the well-known and most marketable female athletes ever.

At the age of 23, Osaka earned a massive $55 million ($AUD 70 million) worth of traditional endorsements in 2020, according to Sportico.

This figure for traditional endorsements is the largest payday in history for any female athlete.

Williams came in as the second-highest female athlete on the list with $40 million.

Only Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and LeBron James topped Osaka through traditional endorsements.

What makes Osaka's payday even more impressive is her willingness to use her platform to speak out against social injustices.

Last year, Osaka made a statement and marched during the Black Lives Matter protests.

Naomi Osaka walks in wearing a mask with the name of George Floyd on it before her Women’s Singles quarter-finals match.
Naomi Osaka raised awareness around victims of police shootings during the US Open in 2020. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images )

The tennis star also wore masks with the names of seven black victims of police shootings in New York during the US Open.

“It used to be that you open your mouth too loudly and nobody wants to touch you,” Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising, told Sportico.

“Now, everybody talks about brands taking a stand. Osaka stands up for what she believes in and comes across as very real.”

Osaka came in at No.15 overall - which includes business dealings - in Sportico's highest paid athletes with Conor McGregor topping most lists last year due to his Whiskey brand sale.

Osaka's host of sponsors

Osaka, now one of the most recognisable athletes in the world, isn't short of sponsors.

Her multi-nationality - born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian-American father - has seen more than half a dozen Japanese-based brands sponsor the tennis superstar.

The superstar's deal with sports brand Nike is reportedly worth eighth figures.

She also just released a new range of Nike apparel and showcased her Air Zoom GP Turbo sneaker, which showcases Swarovski crystals in the brand's swoosh.

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Osaka also has contracts with Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer, Mastercard, BodyArmor and a host of other mega brands at the age of 23.

Fans couldn't believe Osaka's haul after her rise to stardom.

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Osaka is preparing for a Roland Garros charge, despite her usual struggles on the red surface in the lead up to the Grand Slam.

The World No.2 will then head to London in an attempt to win the Wimbledon crown.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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