Kei Nishikori

50 Most Marketable 2016 - Kei Nishikori
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Kei Nishikori

CRITERIA

Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.

  • Value for money
  • Age
  • Home market
  • Charisma
  • Willingness to be marketed
  • Crossover appeal

Japanese, 26, Tennis

A prolific endorser with major success in his sights

Representatives: WME│IMG

Key partners: Uniqlo, Jaguar, Adidas, Weider, Wilson, Asahi, Nissin, Tag Heuer

2015 ranking: 8

 

Tennis agents don’t come busier than Kei Nishikori's representative at IMG, Oli van Lindonk. While the Japanese number one has developed into an exciting and consistent performer capable of beating anyone on his day, Lindonk has managed to agree no fewer than 15 major contracts in his quest to position his star client as the face of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Though yet to join the ranks of the tennis elite when it comes to tournament titles, Nishikori has a personal endorsement portfolio that rivals the very best in the game; he is now thought to earn more from Uniqlo, his apparel sponsor, than the great Novak Djokovic, while his total off-court income is estimated at north of US$15 million a year.

A medal in Rio or, better still, a coveted Grand Slam would catapult Nishikori – still the only tennis player with a naming rights sponsor – to a whole new level. If a maiden major title comes, as many expect it will, Lindonk should have little trouble adding to Nishikori’s formidable sponsor haul. ML


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