Novak Djokovic has a new agent set and he is set to make big changes

Kevin Palmer
Novak Djokovic made a special appearance at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris
Novak Djokovic made a special appearance at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris

Novak Djokovic appears to have reshaped his media presence in recent months and that may have been driven by his decision to change his business adviser.

After a long-time relationship that has taken in most of Djokovic’s biggest on-court triumphs, Djokovic confirmed he has split with his chief-of-staff Edoardo Artaldi and revealed he is “entering a new chapter about the off-court approach.”

The 24-time Grand Slam-winning king declared he remains friends with Artaldi but that the pair decided to go different ways professionally, with Mark Madden appearing alongside him at some of his high-profile public appearances in recent weeks.

Madden was with Djokovic as he played in the celebrity Pro-Am tournament prior to the Ryder Cup in September, with the Serbian gathering a huge amount of positive publicity as he engaged with fans at the event in Italy.

“My caddy Mark Madden is my business advisor,” said Djokovic as he played in the event prior to Europe’s stunning with against a strong USA team.

“He lives in Wentworth, he grew up with Luke Donald and Luke asked me to come and I accepted the invitation.

“When I saw Gareth Bale and Andrei Shevchenko playing, who are great golfers, I wasn’t sure if I should play!”

Djokovic then attended last month’s Rugby World Cup Final in Paris, with Madden by his side as he arrived at the State de France as he saw South Africa beat New Zealand.

The world No 1 tennis icon was then a guest presenter at the Ballon d’Or event in Paris, as he handed the top award in women’s football to to Spanish star Aitana Bonmati.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic’s off-court charm offensive: From the Ryder Cup to Rugby World Cup and Ballon d’Or fun

These appearances are something of a departure for Djokovic, who has tended to keep a low profile away from tournaments and likes to take time out of the spotlight when he is not on court.

Mark Madden (right) has joined Novak Djokovic's team
Mark Madden (right) has joined Novak Djokovic’s team

Now it appears the ‘new off-court’ approach he mentioned will involve more high-profile appearances, as Djokovic looks to life after tennis and ensures he maintains a positive image when his career comes to an end.

Roger Federer mastered the art of building a media empire that is still part of his yearly schedule despite his retirement from tennis last year.

This includes long-term deals with sportswear brand Uniqlo and his lucrative association with shoe brand On, which is Federer’s most lucrative on-court investment.

These may be the kind of deals Djokovic will now look to attract as despite his dominance of the men’s game, the 36-year-old’s time on the court will inevitably come to an end soon.

Madden has been in Djokovic’s box throughout his appearances at the Paris Masters event, with Amazon Prime commentators describing him as the Serbian’s ‘new agent’.

Djokovic has yet to comment publicly on what the businessman’s role is in his set-up, but there has been a clear attempt to reach out to a wider audience with his recent appearances away from tennis and that has coincided with the arrival of Madden in his team.

As one of the most recognisable sporting icons of this era, Djokovic’s commercial potential is huge and he may feel he needs to tap into that global name recognition a little more.

It may also be a case that he believes a more open public image could soften some of the negativity that has come his way throughout his career.

He faced some familiar criticism in Paris as jeers and boos reigned down on him from a curiously hostile French crowd, with Djokovic appearing to be inspired by the abuse as he raised his game to new heights.

If the last few weeks are any gauge, we may be seeing a lot more of Djokovic in high-profile appearances away from the court, which will delight his army of fans around the world.