Naomi Osaka To Form Evolve, A New Sports Agency

By Jennifer Roback


Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka is only 24 years old but has already set tennis records and launched successful businesses.


On May 11, 2022, it was revealed that her newest business venture will be forming her own sports agency, EVOLVE, alongside her manager, former IMG agent Stuart Duguid.


“I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional,” Osaka told Sportico's Kurt Badenhausen in an email, per Sports Illustrated.


“Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman, as well as a way to continue being myself and doing things my way.”


Not only will Osaka be continuing her career as a businesswoman, but she will also be setting history as the first female athlete at her level to take full control of her business career and attempt to build an agency, Sportico notes.


In a separate statement to Variety, Osaka explained that her company will focus on things like brand partnerships, investing, creating athlete-owned businesses, and philanthropy.


“Evolve represents the evolution of not just my business career, but also the way athletes can control their destiny,” she told the media outlet.


“I’ve always thrived on pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo. Stuart and I have been business partners for years now so it’s a very natural and inspiring move to make.”


Duguid added: “Athletes have completely changed the dynamics of what’s possible in the corporate world. They are no longer just ambassadors for hire, but true partners, vocal advocates, and culture shifters.


"This agency is about supporting the next generation of athletes who want to continue building on the foundation laid by athletes like Naomi, but who are also doing things their own way," he continued.


Previously, Osaka founded KINLÒ, a skincare company for people of color, and launched her own swimwear and sleepwear lines. She is also ranked 20th on Sportico's 2022 list of the world's highest-paid athletes and has equity in approximately 12 brands, the outlet notes.