Naomi Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete in the world, has retained her title for the third year in a row. She became the world’s highest-paid female athlete for the first time in 2020, earning a whopping $37.4 million.
She has continued to consolidate her earnings since overtaking Serena Williams by $1.4 million to take the top spot by diversifying her money in multiple business ventures and signing more endorsement deals.
She will still be the highest-paid female athlete in 2021. The 25-year-old earned $1.1 million on the field and $50 million off the field, according to Forbes’ most recent publication on the highest-paid female athletes in 2022. She accomplished this despite being injured for the majority of the year and losing a significant sponsorship when FTX declared bankruptcy in November.
Nonetheless, Forbes ranks her endorsement portfolio as one of the best in sports. She has endorsements from companies such as Workday HR software, Tag Heuer watches, Levi’s denim, Louis Vuitton, Nike, and heavy equity components (Hyperice, BodyArmor). She also became an ambassador for Sweetgreen, a fast-casual restaurant chain.
Because her skills are undeniably great, Osaka’s backstory played a significant role in her earnings. Her heritage also made her very relatable to many people, making her a hot commodity for Olympic sponsors looking to reach a large audience. Sponsors such as Procter & Gamble, All Nippon Airways, and Nissin signed endorsement deals with Osaka to market their products during the games.
Aside from her endorsements, she is also a part-owner of the North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League. She has also invested in KINL, a skincare line designed specifically for people of color. Dr. Naana Boakye, a Ghanaian-born dermatologist, collaborated with her to develop the product.
In addition, Osaka recently debuted her first swimwear collection in collaboration with the Los Angeles-based fashion label Frankies Bikinis. The line aims to empower women and boost their confidence.
The tennis pro “grew up in a Haitian household in New York” with her grandmother. Despite her Haitian heritage, Osaka plays tennis under the Japanese flag despite her inability to speak the language fluently.