It Is Difficult for Djokovic To Get Sponsors

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Edoardo Artaldi Tennis News

Edoardo Artaldi, agent for Novak Djokovic, says the Serb finds it more difficult to secure endorsements because he lacks a national source of deals.

“(Djokovic) comes from a poor country, from Serbia. Obviously, he can’t get support from a company from his country,” he said in an interview with Sport360.

He contrasted Djokovic’s position with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both of whom have several agreements with national companies.

“Roger, he’s the greatest player ever, but if you see he has Credit Suisse, Lindt, Jura. . . all Swiss companies.

“Rafa is connected with many Spanish companies,” said Artaldi.

Djokovic is conscious of wanting to be a good example and is selective with his endorsements, he added, saying, “Not only with his foundation, but also – because I’m managing his contracts – he was approached by betting companies, poker companies, alcohol companies. . . and he said, ‘listen, they can come with whatever money they want, they can come with a billion dollars, I have a responsibility, I’m a top player in the world and the message I give out to the people can’t be the wrong one.”

According to Artaldi, their deal with wine company Jacob’s Creek only involves a film describing his background in the company’s “Made By” campaign.

The turning point for the No. 1 in showing his appeal to international sponsors was signing a deal with Uniqlo, he said. It was Djokovic’s decision to wear signs supporting Japan following an earthquake that attracted the attention of the company’s CEO, which then signed a deal with him. The company had not previously endorsed any athlete not from Japan.

Before that, Djokovic was still a tough sell despite his increasing success. “And honestly, the image of Serbia worldwide was not and still is not so great because of the war. So for him it was not easy at the beginning because I think he has to show 10 times more than others how good he is not just on court but outside the court to have a company interested in him,” said Artaldi.

It’s something Djokovic appears to have more than rectified, now second among highest-earning tennis players with an annual endorsement income put at $31 million.

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.