The Rio silver medallist is the world's seventh richest female athlete
Badminton star PV Sindhu on the money…. in more ways than one.
While competing at the 2018 Asian Games, Forbes has announced that she is the world’s highest earning non-tennis female athlete.
The Rio 2016 silver medallist has earnt an estimated $8.7 million over the last 12 months from prize money and endorsements.
This places Sindhu seventh on Forbes’ top-10 list. She’s also the only Asian athlete on the list.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been featured in this list. To be honest, bringing laurels to my country has always been my top-most priority and such accolades are by-products.” She told ESPN.
However Sindhu still has a way to go if she wishes to compete fiscally with Serena Williams.
The American four-time gold medallist sits atop the list with a pretty $18.1 million for the past year.
American professional racing driver Danica Patrick zoomed in at No.9 and is the only other non-tennis player in the top-10.
Sindhu’s weekly income works out at an impressive $163,000 per week, but how did she achieve this salary in a typically less-wealthy sport like badminton?
The answer lies in Sindhu’s marketing power.
Only $500,000 of her total annual income came from prize money, while a whopping $8 million came from sponsorship.
India has a population of over one billion and badminton is one of the most-played sports after cricket.
This mean’s Sindhu commands enormous popularity and companies pay hefty sums to be associated with the star.
The 23-year-old’s boom in popularity happened at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Sindhu was seeded ninth but had her country in raptures, defeating Chinese second seed Wang Yihan and Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara en route to the final.
She eventually settled for silver after losing to Spain’s Carolina Marin, but her star was already burning brightly back home.
The shuttler was India’s first female Olympic medallist and received cash prizes from the state totalling $1.8 million.
Needless to say, she no longer struggled to find sponsors.
Sindhu’s consistency since Rio has been remarkable with silver medals in the 2017 and 2018 World Championships.
The Hyderabad native then delivered individual silver and contributed to mixed team gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Now Sindhu has the chance to create more history, by becoming her nation’s first female individual medal winner in badminton at the Asian Games.