Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Li Na Among Forbes’ Top 100 World’s Highest Paid Athletes


(June 10, 2013) ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Three WTA players – Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Li Na – were recently unveiled by Forbes magazine on its annual Top 100 World’s Highest Paid Athletes, list for 2013, the only three women included on the list.


Sharapova, No.22 on the list, remained the top-earning female athlete for the 9th consecutive year with earnings of $29 million, followed by Williams at No.68 with $20.5 million and Li Na at No.85 with $18.2 million.


“We are fortunate to have such globally popular stars like Maria, Serena and Li Na that brands around the world want to invest in and be associated with,” said WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster. “As the WTA celebrates our 40th anniversary, the incredible off-court success of our athletes is another indication of how far the sport has come.”


Sharapova’s earnings came in part due to endorsements with Nike, Head and Porsche, as well as the launch of her premium candy line ‘Sugapova’ in August 2012. On court, Sharapova completed her career Grand Slam by winning the 2012 Roland Garros title.


World No.1 Williams currently has endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Wilson and OPI, as well as promoting her own clothing and accessories line on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). In the last 12 months, Williams has won 11 titles, including three Grand Slams (2012 Wimbledon, 2012 US Open, 2013 Roland Garros) and the 2012 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul, while becoming the oldest women to ever hold the world No.1 ranking.


Li became the first Asian-born player to win a singles Grand Slam title at 2011 Roland Garros and is featured in the top 100 for the second consecutive year based on lucrative sponsorship deals with Nike, Babolat, Samsung, Mercedes and Rolex. Li was also recently named as one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People.


The appearance of three of the sport’s leading female stars on the annual Forbes list mirrors the WTA’s continued business success off court with over $200 million in revenue generated for the organization since 2011. The WTA’s sponsorship portfolio continues to grow with six new sponsors in the past three years, including by the signing of Xerox as a global partner in February of this year. In addition, Singapore was recently awarded the year-end WTA Championships for 2014-2018 in a record-setting partnership.


“I look forward to the day when more than three women are on the list of 100, but I’m proud of the fact that all the women listed are WTA players,” Allaster added.


In compiling the list, Forbes took into account prize money, endorsements, exhibitions and appearance fees paid out between June 1, 2012 and June 1, 2013. For a complete breakdown of the Forbes listing visit Forbes.com.


ATP Has New Partnership with Rolex


(January 10, 2013) The ATP and Rolex have announced a new multi-year partnership from 1 January 2013, in which Rolex becomes the Official Timekeeper of the ATP World Tour. In addition, Rolex has extended its existing sponsorship of the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London.

Rolex has a long-standing relationship with tennis, sponsoring  some of the sport’s leading tournaments as well as players including Roger Federer. The new partnership sees Rolex become an Official Gold Partner of the ATP World Tour.

Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Rolex, such a prestigious brand with an exceptional sporting heritage. This new partnership underlines the global appeal of our game to both fans and sponsors alike – it’s a very exciting time to be involved in men’s professional tennis.”


Rolex signs on as Official Timekeeper of WTA Year-End Championships

Rolex will be the Official Timekeeper of the year-end TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships for six years starting with 2011.  WTA’s year-end Championships will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Rolex will receive global exposure across all WTA marketing platforms, including broadcast, digital and on-court branding.  Additionally, Rolex will sponsor the Hawkeye Electronic Line Calling at the year-end Championships.


“Rolex is a world class global partner of professional tennis, and will make a terrific addition to our year-end finale in Istanbul,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.  “Rolex’s brand values include prestige, accuracy and the pursuit of excellence and I can’t think of a better brand for the WTA to align with based on our shared values.  Having one of the world’s most prestigious brands as the Official Timekeeper shows the business alignment of women’s tennis as a global marketing platform.”


Rolex has been investing in tennis since 1978 when the brand became the Official Watch of Wimbledon.  Since then, Rolex has sponsored such world-class events as the Australian Open, the Rogers Cup, ATP’s Masters Series events in Dubai, Monte Carlo and Shanghai, and global tennis stars Caroline Wozniacki, Li Na, Ana Ivanovic and Roger Federer.  Rolex was the Official Timekeeper of the year-end WTA Championships in Doha, Qatar, from 2008-2010.


The WTA’s season-ending finale – the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships – will be hosted at the state of the art Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, for three years and will feature the world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams who will compete for the coveted title and a share of the $5 million in prize money.   The fifth largest metropolis in the world, Istanbul joins cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Munich, Madrid and Doha that have had the opportunity to host the WTA’s season finale.


Net Notes for February 8, 2011

In the News

Li Na

  • SportsBusiness Journal reports that Li Na has signed endorsement deals with Ice Cream maker Haagen-Dazs and watch maker Rolex.

  • The allegedly retired Dominik Hrbaty took a wildcard into a Challenger event in Italy and has won his first round match against Martin Fischer.

  • Radio VOP reports that Zimbabwe, Ghana and South Africa are competing to bid for the African Junior Tennis Championships.

Upsets of the Day

Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) d. (7) Zheng Jie (CHN) 64 76(6)

J Nieminen (FIN) d [3] D Ferrer (ESP) 63 64

San Jose
L Lacko (SVK) d [3] S Querrey (USA) 76(6) 63
M Raonic (CAN) d [4] X Malisse (BEL) 63 64
R Berankis (LTU) d [6] B Becker (GER) 63 76(2)


Singles – First Round
[1] R Soderling (SWE) d [WC] R Haase (NED) 63 62
J Nieminen (FIN) d [3] D Ferrer (ESP) 63 64
[4] T Berdych (CZE) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 61 62
[7] I Ljubicic (CRO) d S Stakhovsky (UKR) 76(3) 63
[8] J Tsonga (FRA) d [Q] G Dimitrov (BUL) 64 64
P Kohlschreiber (GER) d Y Lu (TPE) 64 76(5)
T de Bakker (NED) d [LL] P Petzschner (GER) 64 06 61

Doubles – First Round
[2] J Melzer (AUT) / P Petzschner (GER) d L Dlouhy (CZE) / P Hanley (AUS) 76(3) 67(4) 10-4
[3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Granollers (ESP) d J Knowle (AUT) / H Tecau (ROU) 76(6) 64
[4] M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) 64 76(4)

Results – Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Singles – First Round
(3) Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 76(5) 62
(4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (Q) Vesna Manasieva (RUS) 75 64
(8) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (Q) Ana Vrljic (CRO) 60 62
Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 63 63
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) d. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 60 63
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 76(5) 63
Melanie Oudin (USA) d. Vera Dushevina (RUS) 75 57 62
(Q) Jelena Dokic (AUS) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 46 63 64
(Q) Kristina Kucova (SVK) d. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 46 63 76(1)

Doubles – First Round
(WC) Cornet/Razzano (FRA/FRA) d. (1) Huber/Petrova (USA/RUS) 36 63 107
Camerin/Kustova (ITA/BLR) d. (2) Benesova/Zahlavova Strycova (CZE/CZE) 64 63
Kondratieva/Lefèvre (RUS/FRA) d. Jurak/Marosi (CRO/HUN) 64 64

Singles – First Round
(1) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Tamira Paszek (AUT) 64 62
(2) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (WC) Nudnida Luangnam (THA) 60 62
(4) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. Kurumi Nara (JPN) 62 61
(5) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. (Q) Ksenia Palkina (KGZ) 61 63
Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) d. (7) Zheng Jie (CHN) 64 76(6)
(8) Sara Errani (ITA) d. Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) 46 62 64
Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) d. Renata Voracova (CZE) 62 62
Elena Baltacha (GBR) d. (WC) Nicha Lertpitaksinchai (THA) 62 63
Ayumi Morita (JPN) d. Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) 63 62
Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. Tatjana Malek (GER) 76(4) 62
(Q) Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) d. Romina Oprandi (ITA) 46 63 75
(Q) Nungnadda Wannasuk (THA) d. (Q) Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 64 64

Doubles – First Round
(2) Amanmuradova/Voracova (UZB/CZE) d. Lee-Waters/Moulton-Levy (USA/USA) 76(8) 64
(3) Craybas/Tanasugarn (USA/THA) d. Clerico/Palkina (ITA/KGZ) 76(9) 62
Brianti/Zhang (ITA/CHN) d. Lu/Xu (CHN/CHN) 64 64