Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic could lose $30 million worth of sponsors with ‘anti-vax poster boy’ image, warns expert

Marketing expert Marcel Knobil has warned that companies who sponsor Novak Djokovic “will definitely be keeping an eye on how things unfold” if Djokovic is seen as the “anti-vax poster boy.”

With the Australian Open getting underway next week, World number one Djokovic’s participation has been in doubt for the past few months after he consistently refused to reveal his Covid-19 vaccination status.

Although, last week Djokovic travelled Down Under after he shared he had been granted a medical exemption. However, he was then detained upon arrival at the border as his exemption was determined to be invalid and his visa was then subsequently cancelled.

Djokovic had been allowed to remain in an Australian immigration hotel as fought the decision in court and awaited his hearing. The court ultimately ruled to restore Djokovic’s visa and exemption and he now looks set to compete for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

In the court hearing, Djokovic revealed he was unvaccinated against Covid-19 but was still permitted to stay and compete regardless.

Founder of Superbrands and financial expert Marcel Knobil told The Telegraph “I don’t think his bank manager need worry at the moment. However, his sponsors will definitely be keeping an eye on how things unfold.

“I doubt his sponsorships are currently under threat. The big concern for various sponsors will be if he becomes perceived as a major anti-vaccination advocate and the anti-vax poster boy.”

Luxury watchmaker Hublot, one of Djokovic’s largest sponsors, declined to criticise Djokovic’s “personal decisions” regarding vaccination and said they “will continue their partnership with the World number one.”

Meanwhile, Djokovic’s other sponsors failed to respond to The Telegraph’s requests for comment. These sponsors include sports brands Head, Lacoste and Asics.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.