After her historic US Open victory, Japan’s Naomi Osaka is making a big buzz. On Thursday, Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co announced that it had signed Osaka as its next brand ambassador.
Game, set, match: Nissan signs rising tennis star Osaka as brand ambassador https://t.co/v8DvRa55rN
— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) September 13, 2018
The 20-year-old became Japan’s first Grand Slam singles champion in New York last weekend. Naomi broke down sobbing after thrashing her idol, Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-4. Her victory, though, was kind of overshadowed by Serena’s outburst.
Now, Nissan is tapping the tennis star’s new-found fame to drive the brand. She is young and her Japanese roots will help in appealing to young customers.
“Growing up, my dad drove a Nissan, so being able to be a brand ambassador now, it feels like I’ve come full circle,” Osaka said at a contract signing event at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Reuters reported. She has signed a three-year contract with the brand.
Osaka said she likes Nissan’s sports cars. “For me, it’s the GT-R … Because it’s fast,” she said.
After returning to Japan on Thursday, Osaka clarified that there were no hard feelings towards Serena. The 36-year-old American had slammed umpire Carlos Ramos, calling him a “thief” during the match.
Osaka is now prepping for next week’s Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, and also eyeing a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I think for this year my immediate goal would be to get to Singapore,” a confident Osaka said, about reaching the season-ending WTA Finals.
“I want to do well at the Pan Pacific Open and maybe year-end top five — but I’m not putting pressure on myself. For now I’m just sort of riding the wave.”
“Of course, I’m very excited the Olympics are going to be held in Tokyo,” added Osaka.
Feature Image Credit: Cosmopolitan