Early Wednesday morning the worst kept secret in tennis representation was confirmed: Genie Bouchard had signed with WME/IMG. The newly formed conglomerate will market and manage her globally. This was a position previously held by Lagardere, who she was with until her contract expired in October. Genie had been managed by the French company since she was 13.
On the surface, this looks like a standard change of management, but this is not the case. Genie Bouchard has also signed with IMG Models, one of the leading model and fashion management divisions in the world. With this move, Genie will look to further her business opportunities in fashion. She was noticeably active around NY Fashion Week, and most recently attended Art Basel in Miami.
“I am really excited about joining WME-IMG, a company that is in the best possible position to help me achieve my business goals and maximise the value of my brand, I have a great team around me and can’t wait to get started.” Genie said.
From WME/IMG: “Genie’s unique combination of talent, mental fortitude, and charisma make her the type of athlete who transcends sport; and the unparalleled opportunities and partnerships across WME-IMG in areas including tennis, marketing and modeling will help ensure she reaches a new level of global success”
From these statements it is quite clear that one of the driving factors of her signing is the company’s footprint in modeling and fashion, something other agencies could not provide.
Her team will comprise of two agents. On the tennis side is Jill Smoller, who currently represents Serena Williams. The other is talent agent Brad Slater, a Partner at the firm.
In regards to her on-court fashion, Genie’s contract with Nike is up for renewal. The sportswear company has already made offers to the Bouchard camp, the latest being rumoured at approximately $3 million per year. This would put her firmly amongst the elite.