Genie Bouchard Leaves Lagardère, IMG Signing Imminent?

There has been much talk recently about tennis star Genie Bouchard and her representation future. She had been on the books at Lagardère since she was 13, but her agency contract was up for re-negotiation this month. As she reached the Top 10 on the WTA, and winning over both tennis and non-tennis fans, agencies began to see the marketing potential of the 20 year-old Canadian. Many agencies clamoured for her signature, including IMG, who most recently wooed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Petra Kvitova to their firm.

Daniel Kaplan, sports business reporter for Sports Business Journal  tweeted that Genie Bouchard has informed Lagardère that she will not be renewing her association with them.

Rumours began to swirl at the US Open when her agent was a notable absentee in her players box. Daniel also reported at the time that Bouchard had requested Lagardère cut their commissions to 10% in order to retain her services.

Genie currently has deals with Babolat, Pinty’s, Usana Health Services, Rogers, Coke and Nike, the latter which is due to expire this year. It has been reported that Nike saw her potential early, and made an offer of $1.5 million per season after her semi-final run at the Australian Open. The offer was rebuffed, and Nike came back with an offer rumoured to be twice that amount, however that was knocked back as well.

While there has been no official announcement of Genie’s new agent, the heavy favourite is clearly IMG, who has been courting her in recent months. If she chooses to sign with them, it is understood she will be represented by Jill Smoller, who represents Serena Williams.

(H/T Daniel Kaplan)

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