Will Ana Ivanovic be jumping adidas' ship?
The sexy Serb, who is currently backed by the global sports brand in terms of sponsorship and coaching, is said to be on the search for a potential new home once her contract is up in 2009.
According to CNBC's Darren Rovell, DH Management, Ana's managing agent, is already starting to hear from various companies interested in the French Open champ but DH's interest is in a lifetime deal.
Lifetime deals in the industry are typically deals that run to what is projected to be the end of the athlete's playing career. In this case, it's believed that what's being shopped around to Ivanovic's next shoe and apparel suitor is a 10-year guarantee with the potential for Ivanovic to earn additional money in her post-career life as a brand spokesperson.Holy crap. Insiders are saying adidas is only willing to pony up $3.5 million a year on the lifetime deal with bonuses increasing it to $5.5 million - not quite the numbers DH Management is trying to wrangle for Ana which could hurt their chances.
The goal, insiders say, is for Ivanovic to have the ability to earn $10 million in some years from this brand if she plays in most tournaments, becomes No. 1 in the world and consistently wins. If that happens, the contract could be the most lucrative endorsement in the history of women's sports.
Rovell speculates Nike might be interested in bringing Ana back into the stable (she was first with Nike) once newly crowned US Open champ Serena Williams' contract expires. She's on the back end of her career and hasn't been worked into any major ad campaigns recently suggesting the sports brand is ready to move on.
This news is truly exciting for Ana and the potential for the most lucrative sponsorship in women's sports is incredible but work needs to be done on her game if she's to max out on this type of contract. Her summer campaign was disastrous and showed major weaknesses including no B-game and a lack of real self-belief. Plus, if she leaves adidas she'll most likely have to part from her current coach, Sven Groenefeld, who works in the brand's development program and not for Ana privately.
The 20-year old is, however, a Grand Slam champion, has already hoisted the number one trophy, and is a marketer's dream. Plus, if she never has to wear another atrocious adidas number then we're all better off.
(image via Getty)