Naomi Osaka Should Take A Look At The Serena Branding Playbook


Now sitting at No. 1, Naomi Osaka will need to leverage her athletic prowess to make real impact across the globe.

Naomi Osaka is the number one ranked player in women’s tennis.

This is an amazing feat when you think about how far she’s come in just one year.

From winning the Indian Wells tournament to becoming a two time grand slam champion (U.S. Open and Ausralian Open), Osaka is now a household name.

Now, for the Japanese-Haitian athlete who lives in South Florida, the pressure will be on to brand herself for greater financial gains.

Over the course of her career, Williams has earned a total of $84 million in prize money. She brought in $27 million last year alone according to Forbes, and the relationships she's built off the court have led to multi-million-dollar partnerships and investments. She is the only woman to land on Forbes' 2017 list of The World's 100 Highest Paid Athletes.

A quick perusal shows her athletic dominance has translated a corporate confidence rarely seen in a tennis business woman.


Williams joined the board of consumer survey startup, SurveyMonkey. Dave Goldberg, SurveyMonkey's former CEO, were longtime friends of the tennis superstar. Williams met the company's current CEO, Zander Laurie, at a dinner party at Sandberg's house where the two discussed ways in which they could work together.

In addition to pairing with her sister Venus in November 2016 to open a community center in their hometown of Compton, California to supports resident affected by gun violence, Williams has recently been named an ambassador for the Allstate Foundation's Purple Purse initiative. Through this partnership, Williams will be working to help bring awareness to the financial impact of domestic violence.

In addition to a line with Puma and a five-year endorsement deal with Nike worth $40 million, Williams also has her own clothing line, Aneres, and a handbag and jewelry collection on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

In 2009, Williams and her sister Venus become minority owners of the Miami Dolphins, making them the first female African Americans to hold an ownership stake in an NFL franchise.

In 2016, she and 23 other celebrities became investors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), after the company was purchased for $4 billion by a group of investors led by talent agency WME/IMG.

Naomi’s Turn

Osaka has already won millions in prize money and looks to continue 2019 on top of her game.

Now as the world comes at her fast, she will need to balance athleticism on the top tier with the savvy of an elite businesswoman.