Friday, January 27, 2006

Maria Sharpova: Who, What, Why?

"Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова listen (help·info)) (born April 19, 1987) is a Russian professional tennis player. At the end of 2006, she was the world's highest-paid female athlete.[3]
Sharapova has won two Grand Slam singles titles. She is the reigning U.S. Open champion, having defeated Justine Henin in the final of the 2006 U.S. Open. Two years earlier, she defeated Serena Williams in the final at Wimbledon."


Maria Sharapova after winning the 2006 Acura Classic on 6 August 2006
Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year
Hottest female athlete of the year (Maxim)
WTA Player of the Year
WTA Most Improved Player of the Year
WTA Player Service
Hottest female athlete of the year (Maxim)
ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation
Master of Sports of Russia
Hottest female athlete of the year (Maxim)
Prix de Citron Roland Garros
Hottest female athlete of the year (Maxim)
Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation

[edit] Endorsements and media publicity
Honda - Following her Wimbledon victory in 2004, Sharapova signed a one-year deal with automobile manufacturer, but the deal was only in Japan.
Land Rover - In April 2006, Sharapova signed a three-year deal to endorse their vehicles. One source with knowledge of the deal said it was worth approximately U.S. $2 million per year. Sharapova gets a free Land Rover Range Rover Sport in Florida and a chauffeured Land Rover Discovery wherever she wants.
Motorola - a fee, plus a mobile phone and all her mobile phone bills paid, plus a share of the income of downloads from HelloMoto/Maria. She was criticized at the U.S. Open by some members of the American press for holding a RAZR to her ear at roughly the same time her father was seen talking on a similar phone, as this may have violated the United States Tennis Association's no sideline-coaching rule.[6]
Gatorade - energy drink
Tropicana - orange juice
TAG Heuer - In December 2004, she signed a deal with Swiss sports watch TAG Heuer to become their latest "sport and glamour" ambassador.
Nike Inc. - Sharapova has been known to wear somewhat eccentric or revealing outfits from Nike on court, best exemplified by a Breakfast at Tiffany's-inspired dress at the 2006 U.S. Open, which many admired for its use of sequins and futuristic neckline. She also has been featured in several Nike marketing campaigns, including one advertisement in 2006 that has her walking and riding through the streets of New York City and Arthur Ashe Stadium while everyone around her sings "I Feel Pretty" until she returns a serve with her trademark loud grunt.
Prince Sports, Inc. - Sharapova has committed to a "lifetime" of sponsoring the only tennis racket brand she's used as a pro. The endorsement deal will last until the end of her playing career and beyond.
Canon Inc. - Sharapova promotes both their office and camera products.
Sharapova's endorsements have earned her considerably more than she has won in tournament play. In June 2005, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of U.S. $18 million. (CBS, the American television network, reported in August 2006 that the figure is over U.S. $20 million.) In total, she earns over UK£13.4 million per year, over 90 percent of which comes from endorsements. When asked about her income, she said, "It's never enough. Bring on the money. There's no limit to how much you can make."[7] In a later interview, she said, "You know, one of the greatest things about being an athlete and, you know, making money is realising that you can help, you know, help the world, and especially children, who I absolutely love working with."[8]
Sharapova is visible in and outside of the court for her looks. Sharapova posed in a six-page bikini photoshoot spread in the 2006 issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, annual magazine that debuted on Valentine's Day, along with 25 scantily-clad supermodels. Sharapova joined the ranks of other athletes who have previously appeared in the publication. In April 2005, Sharapova was listed by People Magazine as among the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world. In 2006, Maxim magazine named Sharapova the hottest athlete in the world for the fourth consecutive year.
In a poll run by Britain's FHM magazine, Sharapova was voted the seventh most eligible bachelorette.[9] Voting took into consideration both "wealth and looks."

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