As of 2016, Serena Williams reigned as the number one highest earning female athlete in the world. This is due not only to her athletic achievements, but also to a series of high-profile investments.
Serena Williams began her adventure with tennis as a fourteen-year-old, and in 1995 she took part in her first professional tournament. Five years later, she won gold at the Sydney Olympics. Her athletic achievements have made her a living legend. Her aspirations reach much further and today we can describe her not only as a sportswoman but also as a fashion designer or simply a businesswoman.
Serena Williams took her first steps in business in 2004 with her debut collection ‘Aneres’ (tennis player’s name spelled backwards). Serena has been designing from a young age and was known on the court for her sophisticated outfits, so it was only a matter of time before she entered the fashion world. In 2018, she released a clothing line called “S by Serena,” but it wasn’t tied to her athletic career, instead the gallery is characterized by subtlety and class. During the pandemic that led to the crisis of small and medium-sized businesses, Serena Williams decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from her “Unstoppable” jewelry collection to support businesses at risk.
Pro-social actions, however, are no exception on the tennis player’s resume. Back in 2014, she founded the Serena Ventures investment fund, through which, according to the Forbes portal, she invested at least $10 million in more than 50 start-ups (data from 2020). One such investment was in the BTC market, including the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and the company Lolli, which she reports “provides free bitcoins or cash when you shop at over 1,000 top stores.” Serena Williams herself emphasized at the time that “earning and owning Bitcoin is a step towards financial inclusion for all people.”
The investment in the so-called “Tiktok for kids” was also loudly echoed. This is about the Zigazoo app founded by a married couple and former teachers. The authors of the platform set themselves the goal of creating a friendly and safe environment for the youngest Internet users. Teenagers can freely use most of the functions offered by TikTok or Youtube. At the same time children are separated from pathological phenomena of the most popular sites, which are so disturbing to parents. Zigazoo has not only received the approval and support of Serena Williams, but also the TV station CNN and American producer Jimmy Kimmel.
Another great endeavor of the Non-Calendar Grand Slam winner was the founding of the first women’s soccer club in Los Angeles. This is significant because for more than a decade the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League – the US professional women’s soccer league) has lacked any team from California. Serena’s three-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian became the formal owner of the club, the tennis player announced on Instagram. Thus, Alexis went on record as the youngest co-owner of the club and businesswoman in history. “A new era of sports and entertainment in Los Angeles. Building a women’s soccer club that deserves its name…. Angel City,” the caption proclaims.
Actresses involved in the project include: Eva Longoria (known from the series “Ready for anything”), Jennifer Garner (“Agent with a hundred faces”), Jessica Chastain (twice nominated for an Oscar) or Natalie Portman. Among the supporters there were, of course, representatives of football themselves, including legendary players Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy. The initiative is also supported by Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit. A new team called “Angels City” will join the U.S. Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in 2022.
Serena has accomplished a lot as she nears 40, but she has no intention of slowing down as new challenges await her. On court, she is battling hard to surpass Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles victories. Williams is just one win away from equaling that record. In the business world, Williams’ undisguised ambition is to return to the first place of the highest earning female athletes in the Forbes ranking. So it is worth to closely follow the actions of the tennis player who has become a thriving businesswoman.
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