Emma Raducanu, the 18-year-old UK tennis star who won the US Open in New York earlier this year in just her second Grand Slam appearance, has struck a promotional and ambassadorial deal with British Airways.
The airline is set to support Raducanu as she travels worldwide to and from tournaments, while the tennis icon will serve as a global ambassador for the brand.
In the months since her first major event appearance (at the Wimbledon Grand Slam in London in June) and then her iconic US Open win, Raducanu has struck a range of lucrative endorsement deals, including with iconic brands such as Tiffany and Dior, as well as with bottled water company Evian.
She is also sponsored by sportswear giants Nike, and by racket supplier Wilson.
Interest in her from brands has exponentially increased since she won the US Open in September, when she became the first female British winner of a Grand Slam since 1977.
It has been reported in some UK media outlets that Raducanu is likely to become the first sportswoman to secure an overall valuation of £1 billion ($1.3 billion) if this flood of endorsements continues.
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After Raducanu reached the US Open final, Conrad Wiacek, head of sport analysis at GlobalData, commented: "With British tennis having a gap at the top of the tree following the decline in Sir Andy Murray’s abilities through injury, the chances are that Emma Raducanu will fill that gap and generate millions through commercial partnerships …
"Other brands will no doubt be looking at Raducanu as a potential brand ambassador – looking at the commercial success the likes of Heather Watson achieved without delivering on the court, Emma Raducanu may have become the face of British tennis for the foreseeable future."
Raducanu has now said: "British Airways has taken such good care of my team and me ever since the US Open and I have felt their support everywhere I have flown. To be partnering with such an iconic British brand that can play a big role in my performance makes a lot of sense to me.”
Tom Stevens, BA’s director of brand and customer experience, added: “We couldn’t have been prouder as a nation than when Emma won the US Open … We are delighted to be supporting Emma as she represents Britain and takes on the world.”
Raducanu’s sensational US Open win was watched by a peak audience of 9.2 million on Channel 4, the UK commercial broadcaster.