HomeEquality and DiversityNaomi Osaka Purchases Stake In North Carolina Courage NWSL Club

Naomi Osaka Purchases Stake In North Carolina Courage NWSL Club

Naomi Osaka Purchases Stake In North Carolina Courage NWSL Club

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apanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka, has purchased an undisclosed ownership stake in US National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club, North Carolina Courage.

The world number three is now set to join the club as a strategic advisor, and will focus on growing the brand, promoting women’s sport, and tackling social issues.

In a statement, Osaka, who was named the world’s highest-paid female athlete in 2020 by Forbes, said: “I’ve been wanting to get involved with the NWSL for a while, to promote women’s sport and also as a business investment because I can see it growing rapidly.”

“The women who have invested in me growing up made me who I am today, and I cannot think of where my life would be without them.

“My investment in the North Carolina Courage is far beyond just being a team owner.

“It’s an investment in amazing women who are role models and leaders in their fields and inspirations to all young female athletes.

“I also admire everything the Courage does for diversity and equality in the community, which I greatly look forward to supporting and driving forward,” Osaka said.

North Carolina Courage team owner, Steve Malik, who purchased the club and relocated them to North Carolina in 2017, said the Courage is “thrilled to welcome” Osaka and are exploring ways of harnessing her passion and talent for fashion.

“I am thrilled to welcome Naomi (Osaka) as an owner of the North Carolina Courage,” Malik said.

“Naomi embodies the values we have been striving to cultivate at our club, and she brings an invaluable viewpoint on topics beyond sports.

“I cannot think of anyone better to help us as we continue to make a difference in our community and inspire the next generation of women,” he said.

The investment sees Osaka expand her portfolio which already includes equity stakes in BodyArmor and Hyperice and comes immediately off the back of Osaka signing three new commercial sponsors in January.

In January, Osaka announced partnerships with human resource technology company Workday, fashion company Louis Vuitton, and watch brand Tag Heuer, with each brand commenting on Osaka’s commitment to social justice causes as a large aspect of her commercial appeal.

Tag Heuer chief executive, Frédéric Arnault, said: “We are very proud to have Naomi join the Tag Heuer family.”

“Her athletic record and commitment to excellence are outstanding but even more impressive is her passionate spirit and drive for advocacy which is an inspiration to so many,” Arnault said in a press release announcing the partnership.

In 2020, Forbes estimated Osaka earned upwards of US$34 million (AUD$44.5 million) from her endorsement deals with Nike, Beats by Dre, Mastercard, Nissan, and others.

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