Tennis Prose



Why Is Osaka More Marketable Than Kenin?

This year Sports Illustrated honored US Open Champ Naomi Osaka as a Sportsperson of the year along with LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes.

Osaka had an excellent year on the court, winning the US Open and compiling a 16-3 won-loss record. Osaka skipped Roland Garros and lost in the round of 32 in Melbourne to Coco Gauff.

But for some reason American Sofia Kenin has been largely ignored by the media despite the fact she achieved considerably more than Osaka in 2020. Kenin won the Australian Open and made the finals of Roland Garros, accomplishing an overall 24-9 record. Kenin also reached the round of 16 at US Open.

The corporate world has also snubbed Kenin while embracing media darling Osaka. Kenin started 2019 with endorsement contracts with Fila and Babolat and according to wikipedia has not added any endorsements this year.

Osaka earned $16m in endorsements last year and this year the figure jumped to $34m. As of today, Osaka is sponsored by Nike, Yonex, Nissan automobiles, Nissin Foods, Citizen Watch, Shiseido cosmetics, Wowow broadcasting, and All Nippon Airways.

Either Osaka has a much better agent (IMG) or the media and corporate worlds have a strong preference for foreign women of color than white American women.

Both Osaka and Kenin are pretty, have nice appealing personalities and unique charismas – however the media and corporate world are certainly not treating each with “equality.”

For some reason the media and corporate marketers love Osaka a lot more than Kenin.

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