22-year-old Naomi Osaka has surpassed on-court rival Serena Williams as the highest-paid female athlete in the world. The two-time Grand Slam winner earned $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements the past 12 months – a record for single-year earnings, beating Maria Sharapova’s $29.7 million in 2015. Of the top 100 earners in sports this year, two are women: Osaka, at No. 29, and Williams, at No. 33.
Osaka benefited by signing an apparel deal just after winning two Grand Slam tournaments. Nike is her single largest sponsor, doling out $10 million last year in a deal that runs until 2025 and also allows her a rare “patch provision” for other sponsors to appear on her clothing while on court. Osaka’s decision to represent Japan, rather than the U.S., in the 2020 Olympics resulted in a boost by limiting national competitors, and she also has acquired equity in some companies, including sports-drink brand BodyArmor.
- Procter & Gamble
- All Nippon Airways
- Nissin Foods