This was a bit of good news on Thursday. Nissan said it has signed U.S. Open tennis champion Naomi Osaka as its newest brand ambassador.
Word of the deal came less than a week after the young tennis phenomenon (she’s 20) won the U.S. Open, her first Grand Slam tennis championship. It's a victory you probably know was marred by loser Serena Williams’ incredibly poor sportsmanship on the court.
Williams threw a hissy fit after being given an official coaching violation warning by the umpire presiding over the match. She then smashed her racket on the ground, which cost her a point and then called the umpire a thief, which cost her a game.
Let’s face it, Serena’s behavior on the court was a desperate attempt to somehow shift the momentum of the match her way. Osaka dominated throughout.
Osaka outclassed Williams on every level last Saturday: physically, mentally, emotionally, not to mention in terms of poise and professionalism.
It was quite sad to see Osaka’s moment of triumph on the big tennis stage marred the way it was, but I’ll bet every brand wishes they had ambassadors with the poise she demonstrated in the face of SW’s meltdown.
As part of the partnership, Osaka will appear in global promotions and advertising for Nissan, the company said. And Nissan will support her activities as a tennis player, including providing Nissan vehicles at her tour destinations.
"With a combination of grit and grace, Naomi Osaka is not afraid to take on the best tennis players of our time and win," said Asako Hoshino, senior vice president at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "This is the same spirit of performance that Nissan has embodied throughout our history. ”
This young woman is a powerhouse on the court who will dominate for years to come. Brands will be lined up out the door to have her represent them.
In fact, Nissan was one of two big endorsement deals Osaka signed this week, the other being Adidas.