|place: all england dates: Jun 27 – Jul 10|
|coverage: Live BBC TV, Radio and Online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.|
Emma Radocano’s agent insists the US Open champion is not distracted by commercial interests.
Max Eisenbaud, who also spearheaded the careers of Maria Sharapova and Li Na, says Raducanu’s victory in New York sparked unprecedented interest from the corporate world.
He insists his IMG company “left millions of dollars off the table” by limiting Raducanu to a maximum of 18 sponsor days per year.
“We could have done 50 days of filming,” Eisenpod The Sports Desk podcast said.
“I’ve never seen how much excitement and companies wanted to work with Emma after the US Open.”
Raducanu is a brand ambassador for nine companies, from Evian to Tiffany, and Nike to HSBC.
The contracts range in length from three to five years, and are worth tens of millions of pounds.
However, Raducanu’s year on the field has been less profitable thus far. The 19-year-old has won just eight of the 19 matches she has played so far this season, and has suffered a string of minor injuries.
But Eisenbaud says people should not associate those difficulties with her business interests.
“It’s been a tough year,” he admitted. “I think she had a lot of bad luck and what really hit her was [catching] Covid and not having a big off season, then she was playing catch-up.
“But I think if she didn’t have any shooting dates, everything would be the same.
“I know on the outside, you guys want to look at all this stuff – but if she locked herself in the room all year and didn’t do anything, I think it would be the same.”
Eisenbaud says this is his third professional experience of something “amazing, special — not ordinary.”
The other two are 17-year-old Sharapova who beat Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final, and Li watched an estimated 116 million Chinese viewers when she won her first Grand Slam title at the 2011 French Open.
Eisenbaud recalls renting a room to meet with Sharapova’s father Yuri shortly after her 2004 District Court victory. He says Yuri wanted to take advantage of his daughter’s victory, but also ensures she stays focused and continues to win.
The Americans’ reaction was to put together a calendar, and then put a line through all the weeks – mainly before, during and right after the tournament – where they both agreed there was no time for business.
Eisenbaud said of a player dealing with the contract has always been the highest-paid player in the world.
A few years later, the Lee family decided they liked the sound of this approach, a model now agreed upon by Raducanus.
“Again, with the same philosophy,” Eisenbaud continued. It never happened a week or so before the tournament, it never happened in the week of the tournament and never happened right after the tournament. I understand how people who don’t understand that philosophy can think it’s distracting, but I think when you see how it’s laid out, it’s not really the case.
“Emma decided she wanted to start the shoots at 12pm or 1pm and go until 8pm or 9pm and she had a choice in the morning to either work out, work out or do some fitness.
“Not all of the 18 days are used. There are patrons who have those days, but many don’t.
“I imagine by the end of the year the number of days you use will be about 13.
“But when the 19th day comes around, and the millions of dollars and you have to say ‘no’ because you’re honest with 18 days – it’s tough.”