Serena Williams, sportive la mieux payée de l’année 2017

L’année 2017 n’est pas terminée mais certains athlètes dominent tellement leur sport que nous savons déjà au mois d’août qu’ils resteront numéro 1 d’ici la fin d’année. C’est le cas de Serena Williams, qui domine outrageusement le tennis féminin depuis 15 ans maintenant, avec une telle force que peu si ce n’est aucune autre athlète n’a réussi à rivaliser.

Numéro 1 mondiale en 2002 à l’âge de 20 ans et à nouveau numéro 1 depuis mai dernier à l’âge de 35 ans (elle est devenue la tenniswoman la plus âgée à accrocher cette place), Serena Williams a remporté 86% des rencontres disputées pour un record ahurissant de 23 victoires en Grand Chelem, en simple. Son prize money en carrière atteint les 84 millions de dollars, plus du double de la numéro 2 à ce classement ! Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Usain Bolt et Michael Phelps souvent cités parmi les plus grands athlètes de tout le temps mais au regard de sa carrière, Serena Williams a toute sa place dans ce classement.

Blessée depuis Janvier, après avoir gagné son 23ème Grand Chelem face à sa soeur Venus, lors de l’Australian Open, Serena Williams a révélé par la suite qu’elle était enceinte durant ce premier tournoi du Grand Chelem de l’année 2017. Mais même durant son absence des terrain, Serena Williams arrive à trouver une manière d’écraser la concurrence. Ses revenus entre Juin 2016 et Juin 2017 de 27 millions de dollars de prize money et de sponsoring sont deux fois plus élevés que ceux de n’importe quelle autre athlète féminine dans le monde. 

Sa principale rivale, Maria Sharapova, est complètement dominée par Serena Williams sur les terrains. En effet, l’américaine est sur une série de 18 victoires contre la Russe et a engrangé un prize money plus de 2 fois supérieur à celui de Sharapova. Hors des terrains de tennis néanmoins, l’affrontement est tout autre. En effet, Sharapova jouit de revenus hors terrains beaucoup plus importants que Serena Williams, à tel point que Sharapova détint la place d’athlète la mieux payée au monde pendant 11 ans jusqu’à ce que Serena Williams prenne la première place en 2016 dans le classement publié par Forbes. 

Les contrats sponsoring de Serena Williams ont explosé ces dernières années alors que la native du Michigan se rapprochait du record de victoires en Grand Chelem détenu jusqu’alors par Steffi Graf. 

A date, Serena Williams dispose de plus d’une douzaine de contrats d’ambassadrice avec des marques comme Beats By Dre, Gatorade, JPMorgan Chase, Nike et Tempur-Pedic. Intel a aussi ajouté Serena Williams pour un an dans une campagne qui fait le parallèle entre « high-tech » et « high performance ». 

Les contrats sponsoring de Serena Williams ont d’ailleurs explosé ces dernières années au moment où les annonceurs se sont rendus compte qu’elle approchait du record de victoires en Grand Chelem de l’ère Open, détenu par Steffi Graf. 

En dépit de sa pause sportive liée à sa grossesse, Serena Williams reste engagée avec ses sponsors et fidèle à ses engagements business. Elle a d’ailleurs rejoint le board de l’entreprise SurveyMonkey en Mai dernier, sur les recommendations de la Chief Operating Officer de Facebook, et amie, Sheryl Sandberg. A noter que Serena Williams devrait accoucher fin 2017 / début 2018 et a annoncé hier, son retour pour l’Open d’Australie, ce qui devrait séduire les annonceurs qui l’accompagnent pour raconter de nouvelles histoires et trouver de nouveaux parallèles entre leurs marques et l’histoire de la numéro 1 mondiale. 

Angélique Kerber, qui a terminé l’année 2016 a la première place au classement du WTA Tour, est deuxième de ce classement avec des revenus avoisinant les 12.6 millions de dollars, dont 7.6 millions en prize money. La championne allemande de tennis n’est pas l’athlète la plus « marketable » du tennis mondial mais elle a su sécuriser des contrats lucratifs auprès de certains annonceurs comme adidas et Yonex ou encore SAP, Generali, Rolex, Slim Secrets et bareMinerals durant les douze derniers mois. 

Les joueuses de tennis dominent ce classement des athlètes féminines les mieux payées avec huit tenniswoman dans les 10 meilleures. C’est le seul sport où, en comparant les hommes et les femmes, les recettes financières restent comparables. Williams reste loin derrrière Roger Federer (64 millions de dollars) au tennis, mais elle n’est pas trop loin derrière Novak Djokovic (37,6 millions de dollars), qui occupe le deuxième rang dans le sport pour les gains. L’écart est massif dans le golf, où le rapport entre Rory McIlroy (50 millions de dollars) et Lydia Ko (5,9 millions de dollars) est plus de huit contre un. Le rapport est encore pire dans le football, avec Cristiano Ronaldo (93 millions de dollars) et Alex Morgan (3,5 millions de dollars).

Danica Patrick (12,2 millions de dollars) et Ronda Rousey (11 millions de dollars) sont les deux seules athlètes issues d’autres sports que le tennis à figurer dans le top 10, respectivement troisième et quatrième en général. Les deux ont réussi d’ailleurs à se frayer un chemin dans des sports masculins comme athlètes au fort potentiel marketing (NASCAR pour Danica Patrick et UFC pour Ronda Rousey). 

Voici l’intégralité du top 10 de ce classement des sportives les mieux payées de l’année 2017 : 

1 – Serena Williams (tennis) :  $ 27 milions
Prize money : $ 8 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring: $ 19 milioni
 
2 – Angelique Kerber (tennis) : $ 12,6 milioni
Prize money : $ 7,6 milioni
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring: $ 5 millions
 
3 – Danica Patrick (NASCAR) : $ 12,2 milioni
Prize money : $ 7,2 milioni
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 5 millions
 
4 – Ronda Rousey (MMA) : $ 11 milioni
Prize money : $ 8 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 3 millions
 
5 – Venus Williams (tennis) : $ 10,5 milioni
Prize money: $ 3,5 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 7millions
 
6 – Garbine Muguruza (tennis) : $ 7,7 milioni
Prize money: $ 4,2 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 3,5millions
 
7 – Caroline Wozniacki (tennis) :  $ 7,5 milioni
Prize money: $ 2,5 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 5 millions
 
8 – Agnieszka Radwanska (tennis) :  $ 7,3 milioni
Prize money: $ 3,3 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 4 millions
 
9 – Eugenie Bouchard (tennis) :  $ 7,1 milioni
Prize money : $ 0,6 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 6,5 millions
 
10 – Simona Halep (tennis) : $ 6,2 milioni
Prize money : $ 4,7 millions
Accords commerciaux / Sponsoring : $ 1,5 millions

Patrick a encore une année sur son contrat chez Stewart-Haas Racing, mais le maintien de sa place dans l’écurie dépend de la signature d’un sponsor pour sa voiture en 2018. Aucune marque ne s’est présentée comme intéressée pour le moment et ce malgré les 10 sponsors personnels de Danica Patrick, comme Coca-Cola, Ford et la banque Nationwide.

Rousey a été le fer de lance l’UFC en décembre dernier et a obtenu une garantie de 3 millions de dollars pour le combat. Elle a empoché un chèque considérable pour son rôle d’entraîneur cet été dans le redémarrage de « Battle of the Network Stars » et soutient les marques Reebok et Pantene. Rousey va épouser son compagnon de MMA Travis Browne et faire partie du tournage de « Mile 22 » aux côtés de Mark Wahlberg.

Pour conclure ce top 5, Venus Williams (10,5 millions de dollars), qui a atteint sa première finale du Grand Chelem depuis 2009 en janvier, alors qu’elle est tombée face Serena à l’Australian Open. Williams a sa propre ligne de vêtements, Eleven, donc son portefeuille de sponsors ne comporte pas les marques adidas ou Nike comme les autres grands joueurs ou joueuses de tennis. Mais Williams représente toujours un numéro gagnant à ses 37 ans pour les annonceurs et exige encore des rémunérations élevées pour les tournois et matchs d’exhibition.

 

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