Brand Emma Raducanu makes next move to break into the Chinese market

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The winner returns Emma Raducanu is reunited with her father Ian as she arrive at her south London home. Bromley 16th September 2021 - Brand Emma Raducanu makes next move to break into the Chinese market - DAVID ROSE
The winner returns Emma Raducanu is reunited with her father Ian as she arrive at her south London home. Bromley 16th September 2021 - Brand Emma Raducanu makes next move to break into the Chinese market - DAVID ROSE

Emma Raducanu has pledged to visit China next year as brand bosses capitalise on a Far East fanbase that almost matches Britain for excitement about her US Open triumph.

The teenage sensation - tipped to make £20million in the next two years alone due to her global appeal - has launched an official account with Chinese microblogging site Weibo, with her first video attracting more than a million views in an hour.

Her team had quickly joined the site after a previous video about her on it - entitled "18-year-old ethnic Chinese young player wins US open championship" - was viewed 250 million times.

Raducanu, who speaks fluent Mandarin owing to her mother's Chinese heritage, posted her latest video message to "thank all of you" for their support prior to boarding a first-class British Airways flight back to London Heathrow from New York.

"When I knew you guys were watching my games, I felt so happy and didn't want to let you down," she said. Had it not been for her US Open final appearance, Raducanu would have been in China last weekend. She was due to visit her grandmother in Shenyang but was forced to cancel the trip after progressing further into the tournament than even the family had expected.

"I am very sorry that I can't visit China this year, but I'm sure I can come to play next year," Raducanu added in the new video. "I hope you all come to cheer for me."

With a slice of China's population of 1.4 billion offering eager interest in 'Brand Raducanu', marketing experts believe the Briton has the ingredients to become one of the biggest names in sport globally.

Chanel are among brands lining up to be linked with her as the dust settles from her extraordinary triumph in her second Grand Slam tournament. Eyewitnesses claimed Anna Wintour, who had invited the 18-year-old to the Met Gala earlier this week, was on her plane to London, renewing speculation the Vogue editor is becoming an informal celebrity mentor for the new superstar.

Raducanu attended the Met Gala on Monday night - GETTY IMAGES
Raducanu attended the Met Gala on Monday night - GETTY IMAGES

However, despite being bombarded with red carpet invites and sponsorship approaches, Raducanu's thoughts after returning home to Bromley was simply to spend time with her parents, who she had not seen for seven weeks.

"I haven't thought about what's next," she said after being reunited with her father, Ian, and mother, Renee. "I'm just enjoying it and relaxing and recovering."

Presuming Raducanu is fully vaccinated, she faces no immediate quarantine in the UK, but, under Government rules, she must take a day-two PCR Covid test after flying back from amber-listed New York.

She has already turned down an invite to Goodwood Revival festival this weekend, but, following her chat show appearances in the US, a host of TV shows, including the Jonathan Ross show, have inquired about her availability.

There have also been invites to the new James Bond film premiere, but the only certainty in her immediate schedule is that she is due to return to America at the end of this month.

The WTA confirmed she remains an entry for qualifying for Chicago and Indian Wells - but after seeing her ranking soar from 150 to 23, Raducanu may yet ask for wildcards to get into the main draw.

The first playing event on home soil she is listed to play in is an ATP Champions Tour event, which is set to return to the Royal Albert Hall in November. There may also be opportunities to play in her father Ian's native Romania.

Amid the frenzy of interest in Britain's new sporting megastar, arrangements had been made to ghost Raducanu out of Heathrow's VIP exit, rather than the main arrivals sections, before she returned home to Bromley. Having arrived at her parents' quiet cul-de-sac in a black Range Rover followed by another 4x4 filled with suited security guards, she told reporters "it's good to be home", and that her trophy was being shipped to the UK.

When asked whether she was planning to have a catch up with friends or have a party to celebrate with family, Raducanu said: "Not sure. Haven't even thought about it."

Raducanu's business interests are being managed by sports and entertainment giant IMG. The business has remained tight-lipped over her immediate plans, although sources confirmed a trademark filed over the weekend for "Emma Raducanu" was not associated with the player and had been promptly withdrawn.