Kim Clijsters picked up a significant bonus from her shoe and clothing sponsor Fila for winning the US Open. And while companies usually insure these bonuses, sources tell CNBC that Fila did not.
That means the incentive money paid to Clijsters, said to be in the $300,000 range, will come out the company’s coffers.
Fila spokesperson Lauren Mallon said that the Korean-owned company is private and does not disclose its contracts with its athletes.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that she won and the exposure she gave the Fila brand was immeasurable,” Mallon said.
It’s a standard practice in the industry for companies to insure their big incentive bonuses to minimize the risk. Given the fact that Clijsters had only played two tournaments after she retired from the tour two years ago to have a baby, the odds of her winning were as high as 40-to-1 at some sports books before the tournament started.
That would have made the “win insurance” on Clijsters pennies on the dollar. At the same time, some sports marketers—given the longshot—might have been wary to insure anything.
Because Clijsters had just come out of retirement, it makes sense that her contract would be heavily incentive-laden with small up-front guarantees.
Fila’s biggest endorsement deals are with Clijsters and James Blake, who launched his Thomas Reynolds Collection at the US Open.
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