The Scot beat Djokovic in Sunday’s (7 July) final to become the first British male in 77 years to win the tournament. It marks another breakthrough for Murray after winning the US Open and Olympic Gold last year.
Despite the successes, there has not been the flurry of deals observers predicted at the time of his US Open victory with Murray’s deal with watchmaker Rado last June the only one of note. The athlete had beefed up his business entourage and increased his social media activity going into the British Grand Slam in the hopes of adding to his roster of lucrative contracts with Adidas, Royal Bank of Scotland and Jaguar.
Sponsorship experts say the strategy could provide a more complete package for brands to buy into off the back of a Wimbledon win. Murray, however, needs to shake off his challenger status and win more Grand Slams to broaden the breadth of brands he is able to attract in international markets where rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are dominant, they add.
Steve Martin, chief executive at M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, says: “The market has been holding back when it comes to Murray because of the lack of emotion people associate with him. He’s trying to change this and the recent TV documentary showed a side of him that the public has wanted to see for years.”
Murray has much higher awareness levels in the UK, then globally according to the latest data from sports market research body Repucom’s Celebrity DBI Index. His lowest scores are for Trendsetter and for Breakthrough (see box) – the extent to which people pay attention to him in the media. However, his global endorsement is 6 points higher (68.1) than it is in the UK, showing he is less favoured as an effective spokesperson in his home country.
James Tollington, sponsorship manager at Fuse Sport and Entertainment, says Murray’s Wimbledon win means his global profile will “rise to even higher levels”. The athlete’s total career earnings, which are worth £24m according to the Sunday Times Rich List, could surpass the £100m mark as more brands look to tap into his sporting achievements
In comparison, Federer, whose sponsors include Nike, Rolex, Wilson, Credit Suisse and Mercedes-Benz has made £152m in the past six years alone according to Forbes. The Swiss earned around £29m last year from appearances and sponsors. Spain’s Nadal earned £21.2m off the back of income from sponsors Kia Motors, Bacardi and Nike, while Djokovic earned £13m.
Tollington adds: “Brands are looking to the next two to three years. Federer is nearly 32, there are still questions over Nadal’s fitness and this makes it likely that Djokovic and Murray will be the dominant players of the immediate future. Djokovic is with Uniqlo, while Nadal and Federer are in the Nike camp, so over the next few years, Murray could potentially ensure that the Adidas brand is prominent right through to the finals of all the major tournaments.”
Separately, sponsors have launched campaigns to congratulate Murray on his historic win. Adidas capped off its tournament-long “Hit the Winner” Twitter push with a series of Vine videos and user-generated content to tap into the buzz around the victory. The campaign, created in partnership with Iris Worldwide, asked fans to predict where on the court Murray would hit a winner during each match for a chance to win various prizes.
Rado and RBS also ran ads to say they were “proud” to have supported the Scot.