Milos Raonic has vaulted himself into a new level of bankability for Canadian athletes. For the Montenegro-born, Brampton, Ont.-raised Raonic, making the 2016 Wimbledon men’s Final not only marks a personal best Grand Slam showing, but a new opportunity for his personal brand.
Originally posted to BNN.ca on July 8, 2016.
Milos Raonic has vaulted himself into a new level of bankability for Canadian athletes.
After dispatching Roger Federer in five sets in Friday’s Wimbledon semi-final, the 25-year-old became the first Canadian to ever reach the Final of a Grand Slam.
For the Montenegro-born, Brampton, Ont.-raised Raonic, the win not only marks a personal best Grand Slam showing, but a new opportunity for his personal brand.
His sponsors were quick to offer congratulations after the victory, with Canada Goose, New Balance and AVIVA Canada all getting in on the act.
“What I think is really interesting about Raonic is on the global stage what this really could do for him,” John Yorke, president of marketing agency Rain43, told BNN before Friday’s match.
“He’ll have a real chance to start getting the big brands behind him, whether it’s Gatorade or brands like that.”
Yorke added that there’s value in reaching new heights in the domestic market, pointing to the marketing opportunities presented to golfer Mike Weir after he became the first Canadian to win the Masters in 2003.
Weir was able to parlay that win into increased sponsorship opportunities, including existing partnerships with RBC, equipment-makers Titleist and TaylorMade as well as Booster Juice and Aleve.
However, York University Sports Marketing Specialist Vijay Setlur cautioned that success in the domestic market could well hinder Raonic’s international brand.
“Unfortunately the fact that he’s Canadian is a bit of a strike against him, because American brands or brands based in the U.S. won’t be as interested,” Setlur told BNN, “but he’ll definitely garner interest from Canadian brands if he keeps going this way.”
Ultimately, though, Raonic’s on-court success will be what drives his marketability.
“He’s not the most flamboyant of personalities on the ATP Tour but if he continues to succeed and win the Grand Slam tournaments, which is really what it’s all about … That’s when brands will begin to take notice.”
The next step for Raonic comes Sunday, when he steps onto Centre Court at the All England Club for the Men’s Final against Britain’s own Andy Murray.