On Twitter, Naomi Osaka expressed her joy and praised herself for coming such a “long way.” This came after the tennis champion established a new sports management firm. Osaka’s Evolve, which she co-founded with her longtime agent Stuart Duguid, focuses on brand partnerships, investing, athlete-owned businesses, and philanthropy.
“Evolve represents the evolution of not just my business career, but also the way athletes can control their destiny,” Osaka said in an exclusive statement to Variety. “I’ve always thrived on pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo. Stuart and I have been business partners for years now so it’s a very natural and inspiring move to make.”
Naomi Osaka and Duguid’s collaboration go back a long way
Nike, Mastercard, Sweetgreen, Levi’s, FTX, and Louis Vuitton are among the brands with which Naomi Osaka and Duguid have collaborated for the past seven years. They launched KINL, a skincare line for people of colour, just a year ago.
“Athletes have completely changed the dynamics of what’s possible in the corporate world. They are no longer just ambassadors for hire, but true partners, vocal advocates and culture shifters,” Duguid said. “This agency is about supporting the next generation of athletes who want to continue building on the foundation laid by athletes like Naomi, but who are also doing things their own way.”
Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion, who became the highest-paid woman in sports, earning $60 million in prize money and endorsements in 2021. Now 24, she is also an activist, known for showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement during her games. She made headlines last year when she trimmed her schedule to focus on her mental health. “Naomi Osaka,” a three-episode documentary series about her life, was released by Netflix on July 16, 2021. Also, Osaka was previously repped by IMG.