The words Brexit and sports may seldom be spoken in the same breath, but the international nature of tennis puts it directly in the line of impact--especially when the prize money is paid out in British pounds.
Saturday's Wimbledon winner Serena Williams celebrated with a cool 2.0 million pounds--up 110,000 pounds over last year's payout. But while this sounds like a wonderful 5% raise, it was actually a bitter drop over last year, due to the pound's crash.
Last July, the pound was worth $1.5516, giving Serena a prize of $2,929,500 for her 21st Major title. But today's value of the pound at $1.30 means she will only walk home with $2,597,400.
So what should have been a massive 5% raise turned out to be a $332,100 pay cut--around 11% less than last year.
If she was so willing, Williams could keep her winnings in pounds and hope for a recovery to recoup some of her winnings. Had she played before the Brexit vote, a month before when the pound was worth $1.43--she would have come away with $2,860,000--$262,600 more than what she got. Depending on how much earlier she played, the difference could haave been as much as $380,000. If the pound rebounds to its pre-Brexit value, she will still be down from last year, but not by quite as much.
At the end of the day, what is the difference really between $2.6 and $2.9 million? Maybe very little, or maybe one of these.