Today I was randomly going through the Forbes list of ‘World’s Highest Paid Athletes, 2017’. While looking at the Tennis category, I realised that there were only 6 international players from the sport on the list. They were Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Serena Williams. To be very honest, I was pleasantly surprised to see Nishikori’s name with the other players. Not that he isn’t a great player or anything, It’s just that I had no clue that he is making that kind of money to be competing against the biggest names in tennis.
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Turns out that Nishikori did not just stand on number 26, he even earned more than Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Serena Williams in 2017. He made almost $34 Million and of the total sum, $30 Million came from endorsements. If you only consider the endorsement earning, Nishikori was the second highest paid tennis player in the world in 2017.
Nicknamed ‘Special Kei’, Nishikori belongs to Japan. He is the only player from the land of rising sun whoever got into the top 5 ATP ranking. And maybe that is why a lot of his endorsement success can be credited to his country of origin. Whatever may be the reason, from now on, at least I will be closely watching all of Kie’s matches. On that note, scroll down to read what all brands have currently invested in the Japanese Tennis Star.
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Apparently, Nissin Group and Nishikori first came in contact in 2008. On papers though things became official in 2012 when the brand signed a sponsorship agreement with the Japanese tennis star.
Kei Nishikori was named Uniqlo’s global ambassador in 2011. In 2016, the clothing brand further extended this contract. Kei wears the brand’s logo on his on-court T-shirts.
In late 2015, Wilson signed a lifetime deal with Kei. At present, the man uses Burn 95 CV racquets made by the brand.
Tokyo based Lixil is a multinational that deals in housing and building materials, products and services. It roped in Kei as its global brand ambassador in April 2015. Lixil’s logo is visible on the sleeves of the T-shirts worn by Kei on the court.
Weider is a global nutritional supplements maker. Nishikori has been endorsing this brand for almost 7 years.
Jaccs provide consumer credit services in many countries. The brand has been a part of Kei’s portfolio for some years now.
Nishikori became Jaguar’s brand ambassador in Japan in 2014.
8. Air Weave
Mattress maker Air Weave entered into a formal relationship with Kei Nishikori in 2012.
Leading brewery and soft drink company – Asahi, partnered with Kei in 2015.
10. Japan Airlines
Commonly called as JAL, Japan Airlines has been supporting Kei for almost 2 years.
11. NTT Group
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation in 2016 announced that Nishikori will be the main face for all advertising activities by the brand.
After spending almost a decade with Adidas, in 2017, Kei moved towards Nike.
13. IMG Academy
Kei has been associated with this academy since the time he was 14.
Wowow is one of Japan’s private satellite broadcasting and pay-per-view television station. The brand has been on Nishikori’s side since 2009.
In the past, Nishikori has also been sponsored by TAG Heuer, Fast Retailing, LVMH Moët Hennessy, Adidas, EA Games and Delta Air Lines.