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HUMAN KINETICS

French Open winner creates a stir

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek


The sports business world has been abuzz over Chinese tennis player Li Na’s French Open victory, which has been a launching pad for endorsement possibilities. Nike introduced the Li Na Collection immediately after Na became the first tennis player from China to win a Grand Slam event. The apparel company has long targeted China for growth and gave away free Li Na posters at over 50 Nike stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. Na also has recently signed endorsement deals with watch brand Rolex, ice-cream maker Haagen-Dazs and medical tape developer SpiderTech. Na broke away from the Chinese government’s sports system in late 2008 under an experimental reform policy for tennis players dubbed "Fly Alone." She was given the freedom to choose her own coach and schedule and to keep much more of her earnings: Previously, she turned over 65 percent to the authorities. Now it’s 12 percent.




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Beyond the Scoreboard
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
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Beyond the Scoreboard eBook
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
$19.95

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