Is being a leading player not enough?

The running idea that Maria Sharapova will bulldoze the US Tennis Open with her candy line has turned me off like a winter power cut. This cannot possibly be serious?

Sharapova - Sugarpova (Flirty)

Is it not enough that the sanctity of sport has been threatened by technological innovation, maladministration and the voracious desire for absolute entertainment, at all costs? Scantily clad promotionettes, in-crowd commentary that ambushes live match experiences, ‘celebrities’ lifting historic trophies weeks before the winners do, digital adscrolls with sms-txt spelling, and the voyeurist undertones that kinesio-taping has developed – is it not enough?  Just for a second, imagine a tennis Grand Slam in all of its glory (already under threat by the abovementioned) now potentially cheap-thrilled by the third ranked female player in the world and the goods she is selling. Oh, is it not enough that women in sport already traverse hurdles to remain professionalism in an androcratic environment?  Were clever means of conventional marketing like ‘chew like a champ’ not enough?

Sharapova - SugarPova (Chew like a Champ)


Over the next six days there are two simple possibilities: either sports media has spun a catchy rumor on Maria Sugarpova’s extension of an individual brand cheekily for awareness purposes [1] not to actually be used during the US Tennis Open or this will turn out to be a real deal that is legally approved, signed, sealed and delivered to the world. But if real, surely, that would just be an ingenious approach serving little to the traditions of tennis and nature of athlete competition. Any Directorate who would consider passing this motion would be flirting with lowering Tournament rules and regulations and any player with the time to follow through on such moves off of court leaves one wondering as to whether it is enough to simply be a leading [2] player in a world-class game anymore; because it should be.


[1] Ask yourself, did you know that Sugarpova even existed? I did not. So think: upsurge in candy cravings, online clicks, buys and referrals, random searches linked to Maria Sharapova and baited breath awaiting official press release refuting or confirming details.


[2] Back to tennis and just off of the Western and Southern Cincinnati Open: if you are ‘only as good as your last game’ and Sharapova last lost to US native, Sloane Stevens, who then crumbled to Jelena Jankovic (and then having the whole tournament lost from Serena Williams to Victoria Azarenka) could the US Open look to a not-so-obvious comeback this year?




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