A win could make Andy Murray highest-paid sportsman

 

If Andy Murray ends Britain's 76-year wait by becoming men's Wimbledon champion today, he will pocket £1.15m for his efforts. But experts predict that sum might be dwarfed by massive off-court earnings from sponsorship deals and product endorsements that could make him the country's highest-paid sportsman.

Nigel Currie, the director of sports marketing agency Brand Rapport, said that if Murray wins he could comfortably expect to quadruple his current annual off-court earnings of up to £5m.

"Essentially tennis is one of the few genuinely global sports, so if he wins Wimbledon he will become much more of a global face than he is at the moment and he'll start attracting the major global brands," he said.

PR expert Max Clifford said winning Wimbledon would put Murray into the "David Beckham category". "Beckham was not a world champion," he said. "But he has done incredibly well because he was well marketed, and he is managed by the same person who manages Murray."

Mr Clifford warned Murray would need to be selective with endorsements and that they had to be "natural". "If it is British Airways, he has to fly BA already; if it is an energy drink, it has be one that he drinks," he said.

The world No 4 is already said to be worth £24m. In 2009, he signed a sponsorship deal with sportswear giant Adidas worth a reported £15m over five years.

Eddie May, the managing director of PR agency Threepipe, which has a sports division, said British brands would be particularly keen to snap up Murray – a player who famously seems to be labelled British when he is winning and Scottish when he loses.

He said the player has had links to Scottish brands, such as mineral water firm Highland Spring, in the past but if he won, it would be British firms wanting to sign him up. "If he wins, almost the sky's the limit," said Mr May.

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