By now you know that on Sunday, Andy Murray became the first British man to win a Wimbledon singles championship in 77 years. He’s also the first Scot to win Wimbledon since 1896.
More than 17 million people in the U.K. watched Murray’s win over Novak Djokovic. That’s more than the number of viewers for all 2012 London Olympic Games events, except for the 100-meter final, which boasted 20 million viewers. The Twitter-verse was overrun with more 120,000 tweets in the seconds following Murray’s fourth and final match point win that sealed his win.
So what does a big win like Wimbledon mean to “Brand Murray”? Some media estimates run as high as $75 million. But for a player who’s known for his “authenticity,” Murray is “… so unbelievably in love with tennis. He is tough to market around as a result,” Steve Martin, chief executive of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, told The Guardian. He’s been known to turn down deals that he doesn’t feel comfortable with and others that just don’t fit into his schedule.
Murray’s current sponsorship deals include Adidas, Head, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Rado. While spectators are used to seeing athletes dressed in head-to-toe branded athletic wear, Murray’s shirt was conspicuously free of advertising during Wimbledon with the exception of a patch in support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
The day following his win, Murray was asked about his new earnings potential. He told Bloomberg: “As sportsmen we get paid probably too much, definitely too much. But we have a short career and you try to maximise it as best you can.” But now following Wimbledon, an Olympic Gold Medal, and last year’s U.S. Open win, will Murray likely join other athletes, like Roger Federer (#8) and Tiger Woods (#15), on Forbes’ The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities list? Saatchi’s Martin said: “Yesterday’s win will enhance his appeal massively and I certainly believe he will win more titles over the next four to five years, but he’s still some way off Federer and Nadal who transcend all boundaries and are really streets ahead in terms of their global appeal.”
What’s your favorite sponsorship deal involving an athlete?