Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka admits she loves doing things her way so it's natural for her to leave IMG and start her own sports agency. Osaka, a former world No. 1, left IMG to create "Evolve" alongside her agent Stuart Duguid.
Osaka has higher goals than just being a successful tennis player and that's one of the reasons why she decided to start her own business. “I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional," Osaka told Sportico.“Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman, as well as a way to continue being myself and doing things my way”.
Osaka starts her own sports agency
Osaka is inspired by athletes like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and she is trying to leave a big mark both as an athlete and as a businesswoman. “We were discussing the business models of some of her mentors like Kobe (Bryant) and Lebron (James).
We thought why has no transcendent female athlete done that yet,” agent Duguid said.“It’s athlete-driven and focused on big picture brand building rather than quick checks with a commission attached”.
When Andy Roddick was asked about Osaka's latest move, he described it as interesting and said he is curious to see how will it all go. "Interesting move! Mid-career, taking on your own agency - she has the cash to do it, hopefully she has great advisors around her," Roddick said on Tennis Channel.
"At this point, with all the deals she has had, with all the exposure she has had, experience matters. Athletes will want to hear her story, her pitch. So why not, if she has the team in place, go for it." Meanwhile, Osaka is preparing to play the French Open. Osaka skipped Rome due to an Achilles injury.