Tennis player Naomi Osaka leaves IMG to create Evolve, her own sports agency

Naomí Osaka continues to generate business. The highest paid tennis player in the world has left the IMG marketing agency to create Evolve, your own sports agencyalongside agent Stuart Duguid, who has also left IMG.

Osaka’s contract with IMG expired at the end of 2021, and the tennis player broke off contract extension negotiations while the terms of the renewal were being explored. After the creation of Evolve, Osaka becomes the first female athlete to take control of her business relationships and in creating an agency.

“Stuart Duguid and I want to use the same approach we take to build my businesses, as we strongly believe in the power of athletes to build their own businesses,” said Osaka. “I’ve spent my career doing things my wayEven when people told me it wasn’t expected or traditional, Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as an athlete and businesswoman.”

Born in Osaka in 1997 to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, she has lived and trained in the United States since she was three years old. At sixteen she began her rise up the world tennis rankings and she rose to fame when she, in 2018, she defeated twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the US Open final.

In 2021, the Japanese tennis player acquired a stake in the professional women’s soccer team North Carolina Courage, of the United States National Women Soccer League (Nwsl) and owned by Steve Malik. According to a study carried out by Sportico, Osaka is the highest paid female athlete in the world, with about annual revenue of 52 million dollars.

Owned by Endeavor since 2013, IMG works with sports leagues and federations, as well as television networks and rights holders, to produce programming coverage of live sporting events.