TAG Heuer has said that it supports its brand ambassadors “in triumph but also during challenging periods,” in a statement reported by CNN after Naomi Osaka, who signed on with the watchmaker in January, pulled out of the French Open tennis championship over concerns that pressure from the media was affecting her mental health.
Ms Osaka is the world’s number two ranked ladies player having won four-time Grand Slam singles titles.
She was first signed as a brand ambassador by Citizen in 2018 and almost immediately repaid that investment by winning the US Open title.
By the beginning of this year, with three grand slam titles under her belt, Ms Osaka was lured away from her role with Citizen to become a brand ambassador for TAG Heuer.
“I’m excited and honored to join TAG Heuer as brand ambassador. It’s a partnership and friendship that exemplifies our shared mindset and values. The brand’s trailblazing approach with their ‘Don’t crack under pressure’ motto speaks to the way I live my life both on and off the court,” Ms Osaka said at the time of signing with the watchmaker.
Her withdrawal from this week’s French Open sparked a debate over the pressure professional tennis players face from the media, and whether it should be a contractual part of a tennis professional’s workload.
Most current and former professional players voiced support for Ms Osaka’s decision, particularly after she revealed she was suffering with mental health issues.