Li Na wins three-year Mercedes endorsement

Li Na, who this month became the first Asian tennis player to win a grand slam, has agreed a three-year deal with Mercedes worth a reported US$4.5million.

Li Na, who this month became the first Asian tennis player to win a grand slam, has agreed a three-year deal with Mercedes worth a reported US$4.5million.

The 29-year-old will now wear a Mercedes patch on her right sleeve. The contract adds to her rapidly expanding portfolio of endorsements which already includes deals with Nike, Rolex, Spider Tech and Hagen-Dazs. Other Nike-sponsored players, such as Roger Federer, are not allowed to feature any logos other than the ‘swoosh’ on their apparel, but the Chinese star has a clause which allows her to wear two other brands.
 
 
Na’s recent success will earn her a projected US$10 million in sponsorship over the coming year, which would place her second only to Maria Sharapova who remains the world’s most endorsed female athlete with an estimated annual sponsorship income of US$25 million.
 
Reports suggest that a portion of the money will be paid to the Chinese Tennis Federation, although exact figures remain unclear.
 
Mercedes are keen to capitalise on a recent rise in sales within China, which now represents their third best market.