After Win, Sharapova Tours Candy Factory To Check On Her Investment
Where did Maria Sharapova spend the day after winning the French Open? Not partying in Paris, but touring a candy factory in Spain. Sharapova the athlete, whose victory made her the 10th woman to have held all four Grand Slam titles and helped her reclaim the No. 1 ranking, is quick to transition to Sharapova the businesswoman. The factory will produce her new line of candies, "Sugarpova," which she will unveil in August the week before the U.S. Open in N.Y. “We have been focusing a lot on life after tennis, and will continue to focus on that,” said her agent, Max Eisenbud of IMG, in response to a question about the business effects of her championship at Roland Garros. Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete in the world, with upwards of $30M in annual earnings, and the French Open only added to the haul. She roughly doubled her prize money winning of $1.6M just in endorsement incentives for winning a Grand Slam and jumping to No. 1 in the world. But Eisenbud is well past selling endorsements off a big victory. Sharapova already counts Nike, Cole Haan, Tag Heuer and Head among her endorsements. A Tiffany deal that expired at the end of last year should be replaced soon with a similar company, Eisenbud said. Eisenbud: “We might add a deal or two.” But it is post career, he emphasized again, that Sharapova is focused on from a business perspective. Originally, “Sugarpova” was going to be launched with the founder of Dylan’s Candy, Jeff Rubin. But she bought back that share, Eisenbud said, and controls the whole venture. “She invested her own money,” he said. She hired Dentsu to handle advertising, and the new brand’s launch is scheduled for Aug. 20 at Bendel’s, a department store.