Naomi Osaka has switched course.
The rising tennis star made the surprising move of signing an endorsement deal with Nike — ending her relationship with rival sportswear giant Adidas. No financial details were disclosed.
Osaka’s former contract with the Germany-based brand expired at the end of 2018. She is expected to debut her new Nike gear at the Stuttgart Grand Prix, which starts on April 22.
“I’m proud to become a member of the Nike family and excited about getting involved in all of the opportunities Nike has to offer,” Osaka said in a statement. “Nike has a legendary track record of writing history, and I look forward to being a part of those moments for many years to come.”
She also shared the news on social media. “What a welcome, thank you!” Osaka wrote in a Twitter post.
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The 21-year-old became the first Japanese-born athlete to win one of the four major tournaments when she defeated 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams — who is also a Nike athlete — at the U.S. Open in September. Osaka also took the top prize at the Australian Open in January, securing back-to-back Grand Slams.
“Naomi is an incredible talent to add to our roster and help drive our commitment to inspiring a new generation of female athletes,” said Amy Montagne, Nike’s VP and general manager of global categories. “We are thrilled to have her join our team.”
The world No. 1 player also boasts deals with watch company Citizen, car manufacturer Nissan and Japanese airline All Nippon Airways.
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