Li Na increases endorsement contracts to new level in Asia

August 1, 2011

The first Chinese player to win a major tennis title Li Na is to become the world’s second highest earning female athlete after signing endorsement contracts worth at least $42 million.

Since her French Open win in June she has  signed seven deals worth between $2 million and $3.5 million each annually, her agent Max Eisenbud said in an interview. All seven contracts are for a period of three years.

Her agent revealed there could have been more but “We could do five more endorsement deals but she just doesn’t have the time.”

The highest earning Female is also a Tennis player and that is Russian Maria Sharapova who shares her agent. Sharapova makes about $24 million a year from prize money and endorsements, according to Forbes.

Since her Roland Garros win, Li has signed deals with German carmaker Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz brand and Chinese insurance company Taikang Life Insurance Co., Eisenbud said. The logos will be worn on her outfit which is currently Nike.

Li Na’s place in the Australian Final led to to sponsorship deals with Swiss watch brand Rolex Group, U.S.-based ice-cream maker Haagen-Dazs and Chinese website Sina.