UKG has decided to end its sponsorship deal with Novak Djokovic. UKG has been sponsoring Djokovic since 2019. Djokovic used to wear the UKG patch on his shirt.
Speaking of the break up, UKG said:
The sponsorship agreement was already planned to expire this year and we mutually agreed there would be no renewal.
UKG’s decision to not renew the partnership with Djokovic is partly due Djokovic’s stance on the COVID-19 vaccine. Djokovic has refused to get vaccinated unlike most players on the tour. He has missed several tournaments, including the Australian because of his vaccination status.
Novak Djokovic has said that he is willing to miss tournaments rather than take the vaccine. Another major sponsor Peugeot also cut ties with Djokovic earlier this year due to his COVID-19 stance.
Shirt patches are very lucrative for tennis players. With two patch sponsors – Peugeot and UKG – terminating their partnership, Djokovic has paid a big financial price for his vaccination stance.
With 20 grand slam titles under his belt, Djokovic is considered one of the best tennis players ever to play the game. But he has not been as marketable as fellow tennis stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.