Andy Murray, sponsorship stock is on the rise, and today’s performance is set to propel him either further.
A win could take him into the stratosphere. But even his appearance in the Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic would be enough to turn him into a £100m brand.
Adding to Murray’s appeal is his genuine passion to take tennis into the inner cities and persuade kids to adopt the sport rather than the like of football, an objective the Lawn Tennis Association is meant to achieve, but is failing to do so.
In the long term this could lead to a network of branded academies. But in the short term it provides opportunities for sponsors, said Tim Crow, chief executive of sponsorship firm Synergy:
“He and his mother are genuinely passionate about that and it’s wonderful to see.
“Andy is carving out his own niche, and love or hate him, it is working for him.
“For him it’s about getting together with brand partners who will help leave him that legacy. That’s terrific and very rare.”
Murray’s annual earning are currently estimated to be around £7.6m which approaches those of the top two players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
However, last year, Murray split with advisers Ace Management in a bid to catch up with the two elite players. He rejected traditional sports marketing businesses and instead signed up Simon Fuller the man who turned David Beckham into a global brand.
His advice to Murray is to focus on a handful of sponsors – and as a result Fred Perry the British clothing brand was ditched in favour of a £10m Addidas deal.
The link with the global brand has helped boost Murray’s international profile – and Addidas’s links with the London Olympics is likely to boost it still further.
RBS, is another long term sponsor, and they are currently using Murray as part of a drive to rebuild their battered post-credit crunch image.
A Grand Slam win, particularly at Wimbledon, would put Murray on course to become one of the UK’s most successful sportsmen of all time. But shrewd management will ensure a future for the Murray brand even it never quite lives up to it full potential on the tennis court.