Eugenie Bouchard: Why is the Canadian losing sponsorship?
Aviva, Colgate, Babolat, and Usana are some of the brands to drop the 24-year-old, who was the next big thing in 2014 but has fallen to 116th in the worldRyder Cup 2018 final day: Europe vs USA, Sunday singles
At 24 years old, Eugenie Bouchard is no longer a magnet for sponsors. Her celebrity profile is still attractive to companies, yet a gradual slide down the WTA rankings has reduced her appeal. Bouchard is currently ranked 116th world following defeat in the first round at Indian Wells.
Bouchard's sponsor exodus
Bouchard has not fulfilled early promise she showed after bursting on to the scene in 2014. She reached the final of Wimbledon that year and broke in to the top 10. At that stage, big names such as Babolat and Nike were desperate to sign her up. Yet four years on brands are beginning to abandon her. Colgate (dental care), Aviva (insurance), and Usana (nutrition) have all decided against renewing their agreements with Bouchard.
Her contract with Nike is based on performance. Given that she has slipped outside the top 100, that relationship is no longer lucrative. Finally, and rather alarmingly, Babolat have not renewed the racquet sponsorship that expired at the end of 2017.
Bouchard retains a strong presence on social media – with her Super Bowl date drawing particular attention. The Canadian also has also been a gold mine of clicks for Sports Illustrated, thanks to a swimwear photo shoot. Yet she has parted with agent John Tobias after taking part in advertising campaigns that he was not aware of, according to the New York Times. “I didn’t agree with the way some things were being done, and felt it best if she found someone else,” Tobias said.
Lawsuit against USTA successful
Her loss of earnings could be offset by a successful lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association. The USTA was found mostly liable for when Bouchard slipped in a locker room and suffered a head injury at the 2015 US Open.
"When you get 75 per cent or better, you can't ever complain about that," said Benedict Morelli, Bouchard’s lawyer.