SBD/Issue 145/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

PepsiCo, Maria Sharapova End Partnership After Deal Expires

Sharapova Was First Tennis
Player To Endorse Gatorade
PepsiCo and tennis player Maria Sharapova "have ended their two-year endorsement deal," which expired at the end of '08, according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG NEWS. PepsiCo spokesperson Huw Gilbert said there is "no particular reason other than the contract has ended, with both parties mutually deciding to go their own way." The deal, in which Sharapova endorsed the Gatorade and Tropicana brands, was reportedly worth close to $1M annually. Gatorade late last year inked an endorsement deal with Serena Williams (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 4/15). When Sharapova signed the deal with PepsiCo in January '07, she was the "first tennis player to represent PepsiCo's Gatorade and Tropicana brands" (London TELEGRAPH, 4/16). Sharapova earns about $26-30M a year, mostly from endorsements that include Nike, Canon, Sony Ericsson and Tag Heuer, among others (THE DAILY).

HEROES AMONG US: The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour yesterday concluded production of "Making of a Hero," a series of online documentary films and viral videos featuring Tour players. The series, set to launch in the coming weeks, marks the third stage of the Tour's global marketing campaign, "Looking for a Hero?" The films, a series of vignettes based on players' lives, will be featured on the Tour's soon-to-be-relaunched Web site, as well as distributed on social networking sites including MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. The Tour's campaign also includes a virtual trading card game, an online competition where fans can compete by selecting interactive trading cards of current players (WTA Tour).

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