Coco Gauff Aces 2023 as Highest-Paid Female Athlete

In a striking revelation, sports industry news publication Sportico unveiled, 19-year-old tennis prodigy Coco Gauff as the highest-paid female athlete of 2023. Gauff’s stellar year, marked by her maiden Grand Slam victory at the 2023 US Open, propelled her to the pinnacle of the list, finishing the year as World No. 3 – a career-best WTA ranking.

The calculation of athletes’ earnings, a combination of prize winnings and endorsements, placed Gauff at the forefront with a total income of $22.7 million. Breaking down the figures, $6.7 million came from prize money, while a staggering $16 million was generated from lucrative endorsements. This impressive sum edged out World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who earned $21.9 million.

Gauff’s sponsorship portfolio is extensive, featuring New Balance, Barilla, Marvel Movies, UPS, Rolex, and more. The face of New Balance sportswear and sneakers doubled her earnings in 2022, ascending from seventh place with $11.1 million to the top spot this year.

Sportico’s annual list, crafted from insights gleaned through conversations with marketing insiders, agents, and industry experts, underscores tennis’s ongoing dominance in women’s sports marketing. The sport’s commitment to equal prize money and its global appeal contribute to its unrivaled position. Notably, seven of the Top 10 highest-paid women in Sportico are tennis players.

While familiar names like Gauff, Iga Swiatek, and Emma Raducanu emerge, tennis continues to evolve, with established stars like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Naomi Osaka making way for the new guard.

Despite being sidelined due to injuries and surgeries since April 2021 US Open Champion Emma Raducanu secured the fourth spot on the list with $16.2 million.

Maternity leave didn’t deter four-time Grand Slam Champion Naomi Osaka, who claimed the fifth position with $15 million, solely from endorsements.

Skier Eileen Gu ($20 million), gymnast Simone Biles ($8.5 million), and golfer Nelly Korda ($7.9 million) were the three non-tennis players on the list, highlighting the diversity of high-earning female athletes.

Coco Gauff’s financial prowess extended beyond the tennis court as she maintained partnerships with Anta, Red Bull, Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret, IWC, and Tiffany. Her sponsorship portfolio expanded with the addition of down jacket brand Bosideng last year, and she even graced the runway for Bosideng at Milan Fashion Week in September. Sportico estimates her 2023 sponsorship earnings at an impressive $20 million, surpassing all other female athletes.

Coco Gauff will also feature in advertisements for RayBan and Meta’s collaborative project – RayBan’s innovative AI-enhanced smart glasses. This partnership holds the promise of lucrative opportunities for Gauff, potentially adding substantial earnings to her impressive portfolio.

How did Coco Gauff become the highest-paid female athlete?

Here’s what made Coco onto the list of highest-earning female athletes:

On-court success

Early talent and breakthrough performances: Gauff burst onto the scene at just 15, reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2019. This early success garnered significant attention and sponsorships.

Grand Slam wins and consistent performance: Gauff has since won two Grand Slam doubles titles and reached the quarter-finals of singles tournaments, demonstrating her potential to become a dominant force in the sport.

Competitive playing style and exciting personality: Gauff’s aggressive playing style and vibrant personality make her a fan favorite, attracting more endorsements and media attention.

Off-court business acumen:

Smart endorsements and partnerships: Gauff has partnered with major brands like Nike, Wilson, and New Balance, leveraging her popularity for lucrative deals.

Savvy social media presence: Gauff has a strong social media following, allowing her to directly connect with fans and promote her endorsements.

Investment in business ventures: Gauff has invested in several businesses, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to diversify her income beyond tennis.

Growing popularity of women’s sports:

Increased media coverage and investment

Women’s sports are gaining more attention and funding than ever before, leading to higher salaries and endorsement deals for female athletes.

Role model inspiration: Gauff’s success inspires young girls and contributes to the growing popularity and participation in women’s sports.

These factors combined have propelled Coco Gauff to the top of the list of highest-paid female athletes in 2023.

Coco Gauff’s Earnings: How much money does Coco Gauff make?

Exact figures for Gauff’s total earnings are not publicly available. However, various sources estimate that her total income from prize money, endorsements, and other ventures exceeds $30 million per year. 

This includes:

  1. Prize money: Gauff has earned over $8 million in prize money from tennis tournaments.
  2. Endorsements: Gauff’s major endorsements with Nike, Wilson, and New Balance are estimated to be worth several million dollars each year.
  3. Other ventures: Gauff’s business investments and her clothing line contribute additional income.
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