Chinese tennis phenomenon Li Na (Bio) has renewed her lucrative personal sponsorship deal with the Australian casino and resort operator Crown, and will continue to promote the company for a further two years.
The deal, which is reportedly worth multimillion dollars, will see Crown strengthening its brand within the Asian market, and is reportedly the company’s most important sports-related sponsorship. Crown already enjoys success within the Chinese and Asian markets, as executive chairman Jim Packer revealed at the press conference for the deal Crown is “one of the best Australian companies in terms of engaging with Asia already”.
However he is also proud to associate the brand with Li Na (who has received sponsorship since 2011) –
“But for us to have an association with the most popular athlete in the biggest country in the world is an honour, really….I don’t think anyone personifies the rise and success of China in a sporting sense more than Li Na.”
The current World Number 5, Li Na is reported to be one of the highest paid female athletes in the world. Since winning her first Grand Slam in 2011 (French Open), Li has secured at least 14 endorsement deals that generate an estimated annual income of $15.95 million.
The renewal of the Crown deal is one of many recent sports sponsorships in the lucrative and burgeoning Chinese consumer markets by Australian companies. The China Open received sponsorship from wine brand Jacobs Creek and the airline Jetstar, which is also the official Asian travel partner of the WTA.