How much is Ana Ivanovic worth? Not from a creepy, Robert Redford from Indecent Proposal sort of way, but from a sports marketing standpoint? That’s the question being asked by Darren Rovell at CNBC, as the stunning Serbian tennis ace is looking for a lifetime shoe and apparel endorsement deal worth up to $100 million - potentially the most lucrative endorsement deal in women’s sports history.
The “lifetime” deal would actually be for the projected length of her career, in the 20-year-old Ivanovic’s case 10 years, making the figure a cool $10 million a year. That would include incentives for winning major tournaments, staying healthy and playing an a high number of tournaments to increase her visibility. The trick for Ivanovic and her management is to get as much of that money guaranteed as possible.
Ivanovic currently has a deal with adidas, who are very interested in keeping their hot property. But Ivanovic’s former company Nike is also said to be interested as well. While they have significant money wrapped up in major tennis stars like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, they also might be parting ways with Serena Williams when her contract us up.
The huge potential windfall would be a nice way to end what has been a difficult stretch for Ivanovic, who fell out of the No. 1 ranking, had to withdraw from the Olympics due to injury, and lost to the 188th-ranked player in the world in the second round of the U.S. Open.
But despite her recent on-the-court setbacks, her popularity continues to rise (wonder why?). Her personal Web site averages almost one million visitors a month (me, I have it bookmarked, but just for the articles), and nothing eases the sting of losing like cash. Giant, pillowy, mounds of cash.
At the very least, think how much chocolate milk that $100 million could buy.