No deals if Murray doesn't believe in product

Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after winning his match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, on July 6, 2015.
Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after winning his match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, on July 6, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Andy Murray likes to do things his own way, and it is costing him multiple millions.

The Scot was expected to make as much as US$75 million (S$101 million) in endorsements after becoming the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

Two years after that victory, the 28-year-old still trails his rivals at the bank as the seventh highest- paid tennis player - and he would not have it any other way.

He has turned down multi-millions in potential endorsements since 2013, said Matt Gentry, managing director of Murray's management company, 77.

"If it affects his training schedule, or he doesn't believe in the product, he won't do it, regardless of the money," Gentry said.

"He's quite principled.

"He doesn't need the money."

Murray makes US$19.2 million a year from prize money and product endorsements, according to a Forbes estimate.

Roger Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion, leads with annual earnings of US$56 million from prize money and long-term deals with blue-chip firms, from Nike and Rolex to Credit Suisse.

Nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal is second with US$44.5 million, followed by Novak Djokovic with US$33.1 million.

Murray has deals with sportswear company Under Armour, Scottish insurer Standard Life and racket manufacturer Head.

"It's best for the player and for the sponsor if you perform your best in the major competitions," Murray said at Queen's Club the week before Wimbledon.

"I have tried the last few years to limit the amount of time I spend doing sponsorship things the week before a slam. I feel like it has helped my performances."

Murray has invested in property in Britain and the United States.

Last month, he joined the advisory board of Seedrs, a three-year-old crowd-funding site that has financed about 200 businesses.

He has invested in two companies, including a health drinks manufacturer whose products impressed his nutritionist.

"The beauty of it is, if he invests in a company, he can use their product and then endorse it," said Tom Davies, chief investment officer in Murray's management company.

The Scot plans to buy stakes in as many as 40 companies over the next five years, according to Gentry. There are also plans to set up a small management agency that looks after other sports stars, with Murray in a mentor role.

"The idea behind it was to create a set of businesses in different areas, to capitalise while he's still hot," Gentry said. "He's got about four to five years left playing."

Although most start-ups fail, Murray is enjoying his new role.

"It's a little bit different, investing in companies that you actually may take an interest in," he said.

"If it's something that's involving sports, technology, things I'm actually interested in, then it could be good fun for me."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2015, with the headline 'No deals if Murray doesn't believe in product'. Print Edition | Subscribe