Sindhu behind only Serena, Sharapova in endorsements: Forbes

Overall, P. V. Sindhu was ranked seventh in the Forbes list of the world’s top-earning female athletes. And at age 23, the Indian is the youngest and the only one from outside the US and Europe in the top 10.

P. V. Sindhu was ranked one position above tennis world No.1 Simona Halep.   -  AFP

Badminton ace P. V. Sindhu’s earnings from endorsements in the year ended June 1, 2018, were behind those of only Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, according to Forbes’ list of the world’s top-earning female athletes. The 2016 Olympic silver medallist won $500,000 in prize money in that period, but her endorsements drew in a further $8 million.

Overall, Sindhu was ranked seventh in the Forbes rich list – one position above tennis world No.1 Simona Halep. And at age 23, the Indian is the youngest and the only one from outside the US and Europe in the top 10.

Sindhu’s placement on the list is remarkable considering that eight of the top 10 are tennis players, whose earnings are far, far higher than those of badminton players (A comparison: The All England Open 2018 offered a total prize money of $1 million; the Wimbledon singles champion alone took home $2.25 million). Williams $62,000 in prize money – a pittance for the world’s richest sportswoman ever – can be explained by the fact that she took 14 months off from tennis after revealing in January 2017 that she was pregnant. Still, the American topped the Forbes list for the third straight year.

Sindhu, who emerged as a household name after winning the silver medal in singles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has a sponsor roster that includes Bridgestone, Gatorade, Nokia, Panasonic and Reckitt Benckiser, among about a half dozen others, according to Forbes.

 

“Well it feels good and nice and happy about it. When I saw the news then it was like, okay, I am one of them,” Sindhu told AFP from Jakarta, where she is participating in the 2018 Asian Games. “The money always goes to the bank so not much account on that, but I think just to be in that list with some top names is reason enough to smile.”

The 10 highest-paid female athletes earned $105 million from prize money, appearances, royalties and endorsements in the 12 months ending June 1, 2018 – down 4 per cent from last year and 28 per cent from five years ago as popular endorsement stars such as Li Na, Danica Patrick and Ana Ivanovic retired. Also, the off-court income of Sharapova, the top-earning female athlete for 11 straight years, is still down more than 50 per cent after her 16-month suspension for taking a banned substance, Forbes said.