Emma Raducanu rips critics of her sponsorship deals

Raducanu responds to some claiming she cares more about her sponsorship deals than tennis.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu rips critics of her sponsorship deals
© Getty Images Sport - Alex Grimm

Emma Raducanu thinks it is just absurd that there people who often like to call her out over sponsorship and endorsement commitments while no one sees how much hard work and effort she puts up on the practice court and in the gym on a daily basis. 

Unless Raducanu wins a tournament in the next three months, it will soon be exactly three years since she won her last title. For Raducanu, receiving criticism and scrutiny from media and fans is nothing new and one of the most popular criticism directed at the 21-year-old claim that her lack of success over the last three years is a product of her "being committed more to non-tennis things than actual tennis."

Truth to be told, very lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals started coming Raducanu's way shortly after her 2021 US Open win. But one thing that is often overlooked is the fact that Raducanu was just starting her career back then and that the 2021 US Open was one of her first tournaments played on the main level.

While some argue that it was unrealistic to expect from Raducanu to continue with instant success, there are those who also believed that would happen if not for her rich sponsorship portfolio. 

Now, Raducanu has issued a very direct message to those claiming she cares more about her sponsorship deals than actual tennis. 

"There are those who see me doing a shoot or posing for a commercial and they don’t see the seven hours before that at the training centre, doing physio, gym, hitting balls. But if on a rare evening I go to a premiere and I get photographed, that’s my downtime," Raducanu told The Times.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Alex Grimm

Raducanu's agent addressed this issue in detail 

After Raducanu struggled with her game, results and injuries throughout 2022 and that continued at the start of 2023, the criticism aimed at the Briton increased. As already mentioned, that's when some started pointing the finger more heavily toward Raducanu's sponsorship commitments. 

That all led to agent Max Eisenbud - who famously represented Maria Sharapova - to issue a detailed explanation on why those claims were nothing other than a nonsense. When addressing that, Eisenbud claimed Raducanu carefully selects with whom she wants to collaborate - the Briton rejected many deals - and that shooting for commercials and adds can only happen when the 2021 US Open champion has time and agrees to do so. 

“If you are looking at the Emma Raducanu situation or any of those players who have been thrust into the thing. Our job is to educate them on what is available to them. In Emma's situation we could have done 100 deals. She could be doing deals and deals and deals. They left millions and millions on the table. They strategically took the best brands with the most limited time, who understood it would be a rocky road," Raducanu's agent Eisenbud said on The Tennis Podcast last year.

"None of her sponsors have ever rung up and said ‘oh my god, I can’t believe she’s not winning’. No one. I know people want to say ‘oh she’s got the pressure’. The pressure she has is she won a great tournament and she wants that feeling again and wants to keep winning.

"I don’t think she’s waking up and thinking ‘HSBC is mad’. Sponsors are supportive through injury. I know people want the narrative that the ‘big, bad IMG’ are bringing in all this money. We are a pretty well established company and we’re not living and dying on a commission for Emma Raducanu."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Raducanu grateful to her mother for making her a strong woman 

Being thrown into the spotlight right from the start of her career and becoming one of the most criticized and scrutinized players in tennis certainly hasn't been an easy thing to deal with. But Raducanu has been doing her best to tune out the malicious barbs thrown at her and keep focused on her tennis path and journey. 

Now, Raducanu credits her mother from teaching her from a young age how to deal with adversity and challenges. 

“I was very lucky in the way I was brought up. I have faced a lot of challenges, but my mum instilled in me from a young age resilience, and that’s probably my greatest quality, no matter how bad things get. I remember all the times in the past where I felt very down or sad, and knowing that I came out of them gives me confidence, it makes those victories so much sweeter," Raducanu told The Times.

"If it was just smooth sailing it wouldn’t mean as much. I think it is crazy what tennis players do. We go through all of this pain and heartache just for 30 seconds at the end if we win. It’s masochism in a way, but it is more than worth it.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, Raducanu is currently preparing for the French Open, where she will have to try to earn her main draw spot through the qualifying. If Raducanu indees makes an appearance in the French Open qualifying, she will be playing in a Grand Slam qualifying event for the first time since her astonishing 2021 US Open win.

Emma Raducanu