Nike is dropping tennis players from its roster. And it’s adding performance criteria to get paid. Players are expected to perform well, play a minimum number of tournaments and keep up their rankings to get a maximum payout from Nike.
For a few years now, Nike has been gradually reducing its sponsorship of tennis players and focusing its efforts on other sports. This recent move suggests that Nike isn’t getting a good return on its investment in tennis.
Reports suggest that most players outside the top 20 in rankings are unlikely to make any money from Nike, but the company is still supporting the most marketable players, such as Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu – both grand slam champions and players who are popular in Japan and the UK, respectively.
Nike recently parted ways with Sloane Stephens, Andrey Rublev, Donna Vekic, Marketa Vondrousova, and Marta Kostyuk. If players are not getting paid, I expect a lot of tennis players to stop wearing Nike and switch to other sponsors.