Naomi Osaka's U.S. Open win was overshadowed by Serena Williams' dispute with the umpire, but the budding Japanese tennis star did enough to sign a major endorsement deal, with more likely on the way. Nissan on Thursday named Osaka its newest "brand ambassador," meaning she will appear in global ads for the automaker and will also be provided Nissan vehicles while on tour.
Still, Osaka, who was born in Japan but has lived in the U.S. since she was age 3, won't be appearing in U.S. ads, at least not yet. A Nissan North America spokeswoman confirmed in an email that the U.S. division does not currently have plans to utilize her, adding that "the relationship is early and primarily a global one."
Nissan announced the deal at its global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, marking one of Osaka's first appearances in Japan since winning the U.S. Open on Sept. 8, Nissan said in a statement. Osaka, 20, is the first player born in Japan to win a title in a Grand Slam event.