Eugenie Bouchard A Marketer's Dream; Agent Says She Can Challenge Maria Sharapova
Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard's agent "believes the new golden girl of tennis can surpass Maria Sharapova as arguably the most marketable female athlete on the planet," according to Michael Chammas of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The 19-year-old Canadian "has turned heads during her Australian Open campaign, winning the hearts of the public and respect from the tennis fraternity." Her agent Sam Duvall, who has worked with Bouchard since she was 13, "believes the teenager has the potential to become the face of the sport." Duvall said, "Marketability-wise, I think she can be the most famous tennis player in the world. She's got the personality, she's got the game, she's got the looks. She speaks two languages [French and English] and the crossover appeal is great. Aussie fans love her, French fans love her … I think she is very rare, let's put it that way." Interest in Bouchard, whose main sponsorship deal is with Nike, "has skyrocketed during the past week given her success and the impression she has made at the Australian Open." Duvall: ''We've gotten some requests for initial talks with some watch companies and things like that. We're in talks with banks and there's also some stuff back home. But everything is going to be predicated by her tennis. She's one that understands that the better she plays tennis, the more money and the more marketable and the more famous she's going to be" (SMH, 1/23).
ON THE RISE: In Sydney, Walsh, Swanton & McDonald wrote this Australian trip "has gone spectacularly for Bouchard, and further good fortune befell the Canadian" Wednesday. Her "star is clearly on the rise across Canada," but those in her native Quebec "have been aware of her for a couple of years now." Announced as Canada's Sportswoman of the Year "shortly before she began her Australian Open preparations in Perth, Bouchard spent some of her off-season at home in Montreal" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/23).