Endorsements Headline Tennis

Australian Open Champion Li Na To Turn Real Estate Mogul

 Li Na (CHN) reacts during her match against Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) on day eleven of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Mandatory Credit: Nicolas Luttiau/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports
Li Na is working on adding a real estate company to her sponsor portfolio. Image Credit: Nicolas Luttiau/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports

Li Na’s already enormous endorsement portfolio is about to get bigger. The 31 year-old Chinese tennis star already has deals with Nike, Crown Resorts, Mercedes-Benz and Haagen-Dazs among her 10 endorsement deals. Since Na won the French Open in 2011, her agent Max Eisenbud has wrangled over $42 million worth of endorsements for her. Now Max, who also manages Maria Sharapova, is looking at a unique deal which will pay his client dividends post her retirement.

Negotiations are currently under way for Li Na to add a real estate company to her sponsor portfolio. While details of the deal still appear cloudy, it is understood that a real estate development company is looking to use her marketability, which also may lead to a Li Na tennis academy after her playing days are over. Rafael Nadal has a similar deal, with the World No.1 working with Secrets Resorts and Spas’ in developing properties under their banner. Max and IMG are looking to only add a couple of sponsors post her recent win, as her file is already quite full. Among other companies to contact the star include a European luxury goods company and an airline.

Max Eisenbud is no stranger to developing unique deals for his clients, helping turn Sharapova into arguably one of the most marketable athletes on the planet. One of her more diverse deals was the setting up of her ‘Sugarpova’ brand, in which Max is also CEO. The premium candy company has enjoyed great success since its launch in August 2012.