Maria Sharapova - Endorsements

Endorsements

Sharapova's tennis success and appearance have enabled her to secure commercial endorsements that greatly exceed the value of her tournament winnings. In March 2006, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of over US $18 million, the majority of which was from endorsements and sponsorships. She has topped that list every year since, even after her 2007 shoulder injury. In 2011, Forbes listed Sharapova as No. 29 in their list of 50 top-paid athletes, the only woman on the list. In 2012, she was listed as No. 15, and was joined in the top 20 by Li Na at No. 16 and Serena Williams at No. 17. In April 2005, People named her one of the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world. In 2006, Maxim ranked Sharapova the hottest athlete in the world for the fourth consecutive year. She posed in a six-page bikini photoshoot spread in the 2006 Valentine's Day issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, alongside 25 supermodels. In a poll run by Britain's FHM magazine, she was voted the seventh most eligible bachelorette, based on both "wealth and looks."

Immediately after her win at the 2004 Wimbledon Championship, mobile phone company Motorola signed Sharapova to endorse their mobile phone line. Additionally, she appeared in commercials for Land Rover and Canon, as well as approved of namesake items by watch brand Tag Heuer and jeweller Tiffany. Tiffany also provides Sharapova with earrings from the "Tiffany for Maria Sharapova" collection at the four major events, that are also retailed globally. She also starred in an award winning campaign for the sports clothing brand Nike, "Pretty", in the summer of 2006. She signed a sponsorship deal in January 2007 with Gatorade and Tropicana. In 2007, Sharapova was featured in a number of Canon USA's commercials for the PowerShot. Sharapova has also been depicted in many tennis-related video games. Some of the titles include the Top Spin series, Virtua Tennis series, and Grand Slam Tennis series. During the layoff due to her shoulder surgery, sensing the fleeting nature of a professional athlete's career, Sharapova decided to focus on developing her name as a brand, beginning with meeting with her sponsors more extensively to further her brand. In January 2010, it was announced that Sharapova had renewed her contract with Nike, signing an 8 year deal for $70 million. This is the most lucrative deal ever for a sportswoman, dwarfing the previous record, which was Venus Williams' $43 million deal with Reebok.

Following in the footsteps of tennis players who started clothing lines such as Fred Perry and René Lacoste, Sharapova launched her own tennis apparel line, the "Nike Maria Sharapova Collection", in 2010. The collection includes dresses that she designed for all the major tournaments, in collaboration with Nike and Cole Haan. She had previously found that the outfits given to her by Nike did not suit her frame and were worn by too many other players. She comes up with design ideas and sketches in a process that begins 18 months before the event and receives royalties from the sale of the collection, of which the corresponding dresses are coordinated to be available simultaneously with the corresponding major tournament. The collection is worn by other WTA players, including Sofia Arvidsson, Kai-Chen Chang, Andrea Hlavackova, Madison Keys, Anastasia Pivovarova as well as junior players such as Indy De Vroome. Sharapova had earlier collaborated with Nike on the "little black dress" that she wore for her night matches at the 2006 US Open. The dress featured a round crystal studded collar and was inspired by Audrey Hepburn. The dress was well publicized and received but was not mass produced. Additionally, she designs shoes and handbags for Cole Haan, for which her signature ballerina flats are one of the biggest sellers of the entire brand.

Sharapova used the Prince Triple Threat Hornet for part of 2003 and then used several different Prince racquets until the US Open. She gave the racquet she used in the 2004 Wimbledon final to Regis Philbin when taping Live with Regis and Kelly. Sharapova began using the Prince Shark OS at that tournament specially designed for her. She then switched to the Prince O3 White racquet in January 2006. She switched to the Prince O3 Speedport Black in July 2008. After being with Prince for ten years, Sharapova began endorsing Head racquets in 2011 and uses the Head YOUTEK IG Instinct.

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