Djokovic loses another sponsorship deal amidst vaccine controversy

Djokovic loses another sponsorship deal amid vaccine controversy

May 26, 2022

Novak Djokovic has lost yet another endorsement deal as his stance on the COVID vaccine continues to take its toll. 

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz shocked World No. 1 at the Madrid Open last Saturday in a three-set thriller that lasted more than three-and-a-half hours. His latest triumph came just a day after he defeated his idol, Rafael Nadal, in another three-set thriller. 

Djokovic has failed to win any of his four events this year after being deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open when his medical exemption visa was cancelled.

However, it is not just the on-court losses that are piling up for the Serb. Sportico confirmed earlier this month that UKG had ended its relationship with the Serbian. Djokovic partnered with the tech firm in early 2019, when it was still known as Ultimate Software before a merger with Kronos.

Apart from partnering with Novak Djokovic, UKG’s push into Tennis also includes sponsoring the Miami Open. 

Speaking on the abrupt termination of the contract, a UKG spokesperson said in an email:

The sponsorship agreement was already planned to expire this year and we mutually agreed there would be no renewal.” 

In March, Peugeot also announced that it was not renewing its sponsorship agreement with Djokovic, which first started in 2014. Both Peugeot and UKG were Djokovic’s patch partners on either sleeve of his Lacoste shirts. Patch partnerships are among one of the most lucrative deals for tennis professionals because of the air time they get during matches on close-ups as the players serve and pace around the court. 

Djokovic was sporting the UKG logo on his sleeve in Dubai in February earlier this year, but not when he appeared in Monte Carlo last month or during the Madrid Open earlier this month. 

Lacoste, however, is sticking with Djokovic for the time being. It is by far his most lucrative endorsement partner and can be worth as much as US$10 million annually, including bonuses when the 20-time Grand Slam winner has a big year on the court. His other remaining sponsors include Head, Asics, Hublot and Raiffeisen Bank. 

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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