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Posts Tagged ‘Maria Sharapova’

No, Maria Sharapova Will Not Change Her Name to ‘Sugarpova’

Personal branding: what does it even mean? For top tennis star Maria Sharapova, it means attaching your name to Every. Single. Product. you possibly can. But even the most unapologetic self-promoter must draw the line somewhere, and for Sharapova that line is the very name her parents gave her.

The world’s wealthiest female athlete may have announced her decision not to legally christen herself “Sugarpova” after the candy line of the same name. Yes, she took the time to let everyone know that she would not take the plunge after letting everyone know that she was “seriously considering” adopting the new name during the US Open. And we fell for her stunt…

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Second Serving: Serena Williams Shows Paula Deen How to Apologize

REUTERS/Sergio MoraesThe entire country watched in horror this month as Paula Deen’s deep-fried, butter-soaked career came crashing down in a mess of outrageous statements and one of the most painful non-apologies we’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.

Mrs. Deen’s fall was so epic, in fact, that it distracted us from another perfectly served case study in poor media relations. This one came courtesy of clay court champ Serena Williams, who ruined what should have been a complimentary Rolling Stone profile with a few ill-advised comments and a passive-aggressive “apology.”

While visiting a nail salon with reporter Stephen Rodrick, Williams saw a news report about the Steubenville, Ohio rape case that sent two high school football stars to jail and led to a PR fail for CNN when anchors Poppy Harlow and Candy Crowley appeared to express more sympathy for the rapists than their victim.

Serena said of the perpetrators: “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know.” Beyond classifying the rape of a 16-year-old girl as “something stupid” and wondering whether the offenders were punished too harshly, Williams also had some less-than-flattering words for the victim:

“I’m not blaming the girl, but…why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? She’s lucky… she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Did she really need to throw a “but” in there?

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Maria Sharapova’s Agent May Be Just a Little Insane

U.S. Open season is as good a time as any to consider the role of the sports super-agent. Max Eisenbud, who manages tennis sensation Maria Sharapova, is a great model for success in the business–and then some. In a rare show of openness for a PR pro, he allowed The New York Times to publish a fairly extensive profile of him and his career this week.

In case you didn’t know, Sharapova has been the top-earning female athlete in the world for eight years in a row. Harvard Business School offers a course based solely on the building of her brand.

So what about Eisenbud? Well, he’s been in the ball-and-racket game for some time. A former college tennis player, his first foray into the PR biz came while organizing college parties and concerts, but he came across Sharapova when he was 27 (she was 12) and immediately recognized her as his “meal ticket.” Eisenbud’s background makes him an ideal representative for tennis stars, and given his long history with Sharapova, it makes perfect sense that the two would have a very close relationship (she calls him “half family, half agent”).

In fact, he’s taken his success with Sharapova viral. Where did he look for next big thing? China, of course.

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WTA Campaign Sparks Discussion of How to Market Women’s Sports

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is drawing attention to its players — top-ranked stars from all over the world who are now also stars of the organization’s marketing campaign. Called “Strong is Beautiful,” the campaign showcases the muscles and tennis prowess of the ladies, but, according to some, also sexes them up. Perhaps a little too much.

TIME magazine quotes a couple of experts and cites some recent campaigns featuring world-class female athletes, making a case that the message speaks more to looks than skill.

At the same time, the article points out that coverage allotted to women’s sports has dropped recently.
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Can Maria Sharapova Serve Up a Great Logo?

Sony Ericsson has partnered with the Women’s Tennis Association on its new YouTube series launching in March, “Xperia Hot Shots.” The series will follow six WTA players as they compete in more than 50 tournaments.

Players will be in contact with fans through Facebook and other social media, accessed of course on their mobile devices. The participants haven’t been chosen yet, but fans will have a say in that as well.

Here’s the part that should give a little pause.

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