Naomi Osaka leaves IMG to start her own agency, Evolve

For Osaka, Evolve’s goal is not simply to save money on paying commission to third parties, but also to grow its business portfolio to $ 150 million a year over the next few years, from around $ 50 million today. but not by signing deals that more corporate logos on his tennis clothes.

Duguid said Osaka may actually reduce its sponsorship portfolio. Evolve’s model is similar to the activities initiated by many of Osaka’s role models in the sports industry, many of whom have become close friends, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry. The Osaka was also close to Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in 2020 and who was one of his first mentors.

It has weighed a feat like Evolve since the Tokyo Olympics, where it lit the Olympic cauldron and was the play games in Japan, my home country. Osaka wanted more leeway to invest in businesses, have a stake in them and grow their own. Last year she founded Kinlò, a skincare company focused on people with melanistic or darker complexions.

That announcement came a few days after Osaka released from the US Open after being shocked by Leylah Fernandez, an unseeded Canadian, in the third round. She announced at a tearful press conference after the game that she had planned to take an indefinite break from tennis. She had previously taken seven weeks off after her he left the French Open last spring following a conflict with tournament organizers. Osaka had stated that he would not attend mandatory press conferences after the games. The organizers had threatened to throw her out of the tournament if she didn’t fulfill her obligations to the media, so Osaka withdrew.

Neither the stoppages nor his drop in the rankings seem to have affected his ability to grow his business off the pitch. Now, Duguid said, he will try to maintain his leading position off the pitch as he tries to regain what he once had.

“This is something that scratches an itch on the side for her,” he said.