Serena Williams’ Sponsors and Business Interests
With 23 grand slams, Serena Williams is one of the most successful female tennis players. Not surprisingly, big brands spend tons of money to get Serena’s name associated with their companies. Though she retired from tennis at the 2022 US Open, she is sought after by big brands.
Williams is married to venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian. Through her business arm, Serena Ventures, Williams has invested in a number of companies. She also sits on the board of Poshmark and Survey Monkey.
Serena Williams has been with Nike since 2003. She wears Nike clothes and shoes on the tennis court. During the 2018 Australian Open, Nike ran an inspirational ad featuring a very young Serena being coached by her dad Richard.
Wilson has been long been the racquet sponsor for Serena. When she won her record 23rd grand slam title, Wilson released a golden racquet in her honor.
Lincoln Motor Company
Lincoln is an American luxury car maker owned by Ford. Serena’s Lincoln partnership began in 2018. Serena endorses Lincoln’s Navigator SUV. Serena previously had a deal with British car maker Aston Martin.
Tech giant Intel partnered with Serena Williams in 2017. In the ad promoting “High tech equals high performance”, Serena Williams plays with a wooden tennis racquet against women with modern models.
Audemars Piguet is a Swiss manufacturer of luxury mechanical watches and clocks. Serena’s partnership with Audemars Piguet started in 2014.
Beats by Dre
Beats is a subsidiary of Apple and produces audio products. Serena Williams has been with Beats for several years. Here she is in an ad with Nicki Minaj.
Chase is a banking and financial services company based in New York City. Serena has appeared in an inspirational Chase commercial on her return to tennis following the birth of her daughter.
Other Business Interests of Serena Williams
In 2009, Serena bought a minority interest in the Miami Dolphins football team along with her sister Venus.
Serena is also a minority investor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) since 2016. UFC is an American mixed martial arts promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Williams launched her first proprietary fashion collection, called “Serena, in 2018. She had previously done clothing collections with Nike and HSN.
Serena Ventures has been operating since 2014. In stealth mode, the first few years and now in the open, Serena Ventures has built a portfolio that includes some of the hottest tech startups in Silicon Valley. Serena Ventures’ portfolio companies have displayed a clear pattern of investing in companies that are led by women or provide products aimed primarily at women. It is also an active investor in the food and retail industries.
Williams is married to Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit and a venture capitalist.
Serena Ventures’s Portfolio Companies
Serena Ventures holds a stake in Coinbase, a breakout company of the bitcoin era
Serena Ventures is an investor in Tonal, a Peleton-type company that sells a wall-mounted fitness system and screen rather than a stationary bike
Masterclass, which sells online classes in a variety of disciplines; Williams herself offers a tennis lesson on the site.
Andela, which operates mainly in Africa, working to connect software developers from the continent with tech companies around the world.
Impossible Foods, a maker of plant-based protein products
Daily Harvest, which provides fresh fruits, vegetables and other organic ingredients to customers on a weekly or monthly basis.
Gobble, which delivers meal kits that are designed to be able to be prepared in 15 minutes or less.
Little Spoon, which runs a delivery service for organic baby food.
Ollie, a provider of customized meal plans for dogs.
Olly, a seller of vitamins, protein bars and related products.
Challenging Gender Gap in VC
Serena Williams has challenged the gender gap in VC by investing in the sorts of companies and founders that have far too often been overlooked by traditional Silicon Valley VCs. Serena Ventures’ portfolio companies that space include:
The Wing, an operator of co-working spaces and social clubs aimed at women t
Billie, another female-founded company that sells razors and other body-care products aimed at women.
Lola, which delivers tampons, pads, and other reproductive healthcare products to women,
Floravere sells selling wedding dresses directly to consumers.
Mayvenn, which makes hair extensions and other beauty products.
HoneyLove, maker of a line of shapewear for women.
Board of Directors
In addition to shining on the court, Serena is serving as a director at two companies.
Poshmark (Director since 2019) – Poshmark is an online social retail and reselling platform. Serena is the first female and first African American to serve on the company’s board.
Survey Monkey (Director since 2017) – SurveyMonkey is an online survey development cloud-based software as a service company based in California.