Citizen brand ambassador Osaka strikes commercial gold

Naomi Osaka on the way to winning this year’s US Open. (photo TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Recently crowned US Open tennis champion Naomi Osaka is set to sign Adidas’ biggest deal for a female athlete.

This is according to Business Insider, which claims that the deal will make Osaka one of the highest paid sportswomen on the planet.

New York consultant Spotted, a media agency that tracks sentiment towards celebrities and the impact that that might have on the brands they work with, says that positive sentiment has surprisingly experienced a slight decline following the US Open, decreasing from 18% to 16%.

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This can be almost entirely attributed to the championship final, where a partisan home crowd sided with Serena Williams at Osaka’s expense, despite Williams’ foul, prolonged and inexcusable diatribe against the umpire. Indeed, Osaka’s negative sentiment increased 4.8X after the final.

Prior to the US Open, Osaka’s positive to negative sentiment ratio had been consistent at 4.8: 1 in the past three years. To provide context behind the ratio, Serena Williams’ is 2.5: 1.

The searches and mentions for Citizen haven’t experienced any significant ups and downs after Osaka’s win. Compared to its largest competitors, Citizen gained higher search interest than Timex and Swatch, but was behind Seiko and Casio in terms of search interest over the past 90 days.

The ‘Spotted Score’, a metric that measures the overall strength of a celebrity endorsement, scores the campaign between Citizen and Osaka as 62.3 out of 100, with 3,198 celebrities having a higher Spotted Score with Citizen than Osaka. When compared to other Citizen brand ambassadors, both Victoria Azarenka and Eli Manning have a higher Spotted Score with Citizen than Osaka, respectively 96.1 and 78.5.

Osaka’s Spotted Score is mostly impacted by poor gender match and age match between Citizen and Osaka, with Osaka’s appeal skewing more female and younger than the average Citizen customer.

Although Naomi Osaka’s recognition is low compared to some other internationally well-known female tennis players, her recognition is expected to change after her first win at the US Open and her new brand partnerships.

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