Emma Raducanu’s agent claims Swiatek won’t chase brand deals like Brit
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Iga Swiatek and her team have opened up on the world No 1’s lack of interest in big brand deals despite being one of the biggest names in the game. The Pole linked-up with Emma Raducanu’s agent Max Eisenbud despite his claims that Swiatek isn’t looking to follow in the Brit’s footsteps and wants to keep things small instead.
Swiatek has quickly become one of the biggest names in tennis in recent years, winning her first Grand Slam title at the 2020 French Open when she was just 19 years old, going on to win two more Majors last year at the French Open and US Open while she also became No 1 in the world and went on a winning streak lasting 37 matches. Despite making a name for herself as one of the most dominant players on tour, the 21-year-old isn’t interested in following the likes of Raducanu and Naomi Osaka in signing a series of lucrative brand deals even after signing to IMG and working with the Brit’s agent.
And it’s Max Eisenbud himself who has confirmed that Swiatek isn’t interested in taking on lots of sponsorships. “I don’t know if it’s necessarily like she has this big desire to become the highest-paid female athlete in the world,” the senior Vice President of IMG tennis told Tennis Majors. “My perception is that she just wanted to make sure she’s got some really professional people around her in all aspects of her career, and she’s already done a really good job with that.”
Swiatek signed with IMG for her global deals while sticking with her original Polish management too, as the 11-time title winner still wants to use her platform to build the right brand for herself. The world No 1 recently signed a global deal with Polish drinks company Oshee and uses her social media to do things like raise money for charity, give a platform for awareness of issues, while she also does fun things for her fans including setting up a book.
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“It was overwhelming at the beginning but I got used to it and now it’s a natural part of my career where my priority is my sport performance but I manage to develop my partnerships and business skills too,” Swiatek also told Tennis Majors. While the 21-year-old had a completely different approach to Eisenbud’s other client Raducanu, he said there was no shortage of the right companies who wanted to work with Swiatek even though she opted to keep things “small” compared to the 2021 US Open champion, who has signed with the likes of Dior, Porsche and British Airways.
“There are a lot of brands out there that want to be associated with her for many reasons,” he explained. “She’s got a lot of things to offer, besides being a great player and showing up consistently, week in and week out, which is something that we haven’t had in women’s tennis in a while. And that’s attractive to brands, obviously, but her unique personality and the fact that she’s very real and humble are also attractive to brands.”
He also compared Swiatek to his old scouting of Maria Sharapova, claiming both women had the similarities of focusing on winning tennis matches above everything else and added: “I don’t think she’s looking to do ten endorsement deals. I think she will keep it kind of small. I think that’s her personality.
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“Her team has done a good job in the Polish market and, over time here, you’ll see us adding a couple, but I don’t think that she’ll be doing a lot of deals and that’s just by design. Certainly, you’re not going to see five, six, or seven deals announced at once. We’ll continue to be strategic, we’ll continue to be real, to go for things she’s excited about and just plot our way, so maybe it won’t be the typical Max size situation.”
While some have questioned why players like Raducanu have more high-profile sponsors than Swiatek despite the Pole having a much better career in terms of results, the world No 1’s psychologist Daria Abramowicz explained why team Swiatek wasn’t focusing on chasing Raducanu. “Comparing ourselves is one of the signs of perfectionism actually,” she said.
“Perfectionism is driven by this drilling voice in your head that is constantly asking, ‘What will others say? What will others do’. And it’s driven also by the threat of a shame kicking in: ‘we won’t do enough, or the same or better’. And it’s consuming and exhausting. One of the biggest areas and ideas of my work is that there is a huge difference between perfectionism and striving for excellence. Perfectionism can go away, and it goes away if you work on it. And what we want to achieve in our work with Iga is obviously to go towards striving for excellence and not putting energy into something you don’t have any control or influence on. At the same time, again: priorities and identity.”
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