Branding the World of Sports

Posts Tagged ‘tennis’

Endorsement Profile: Maria Sharapova

Posted by ZA on December 11, 2009

Athlete: Maria Sharapova
Sport: Tennis
League: WTA
Agent: IMG (Max Eisenbud)
Age: 22   (April 19, 1987)
Rank in SI’s richest athletes: 13 (International list)

Maria Sharapova endorsement deals (thru Dec. 2009):
* Canon
* Cole Haan
* Land Rover
* Nike (athletic shoes & apparel)
* Parlux Fragrances (perfume)
* Prince (tennis racquets)
* Sony Ericsson
* Tag Heuer
* Tiffany & Co

Former Sharapova endorsement deals:
Colgate-Palmolive, Gatorade, Motorola & Tropicana

Maria Sharapova endorsement potential:
Maria Sharapova is the top female endorsement star in the sports world.  Sharapova has competition from Venus & Serena Williams, Danica Patrick, Michelle Wie and Lorena Ochoa; but Maria is still the top endorser among female athletes.  Sharapova’s endorsement success has been helped by her good looks; she was named in 2005 as one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world.  But Sharapova is not just another pretty face (i.e.- Anna Kournikova), she is one of the top players in tennis who has won 3 of the 4 tennis major tournaments.

Only in her early 20’s Sharapova is already a global brand, which her sponsors take advantage of by featuring her in advertisements in the United States, Europe and Asia.  She is from Russia, but does not endorse any Russian companies.  But her lineup of endorsement deals is the envy of any athlete in the world.  She has some of the biggest companies on the planet tailoring their marketing campaigns around her name.  Canon has featured Sharapova in new product launches which were so successful that they even made Maria’s dog a star.

What’s next for the tennis superstar slash celebrity slash endorsement queen?  Maybe retirement.  Maria has made comments that she doesn’t plan to play tennis for her another decade.  She’s said she would like to follow the lead of Justine Henin and retire young so she can pursue other life goals.  That means that sponsors who wish to align their brand with the top earning female athlete on the planet better hurry up.  Maria Sharapova is in her prime as an endorsement star, but there may not be that many years left for advertisers to sign her if she decides to follow her dreams to raise a family.

Maria Sharapova commercial for Canon:

Posted in Apparel & Shoes, Athletes, Endorsement Deals, Endorsement Profile | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What is the top selling category of sporting goods?

Posted by ZA on March 14, 2009

Consumers in the United States spend close to $20 million dollars every day on sporting goods & athletic apparel.  The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) estimates the total U.S. sales at close to $70 billion dollars per year.  That figure encompasses a wide range of sports from bowling to racquetball, some of which are growing (basketball, ice hockey) and some of which are declining in the current economy (golf, tennis).  But the real question is which categories of sporting goods are the top sellers?  Which are the largest revenue producers?

Top selling sporting goods by sport (2008 revenue):
1. Golf – $2.76 billion
2. Athletic shoes – $1.24 billion
3. Baseball/softball – $602 million
4. Football – $496 million
5. Basketball – $356 million
6. Soccer – $304 million
7. Tennis – $256 million
8. Ice Hockey – $218 million
Source: SGMA

No surprise that golf is the top of the list because golf equipment is expensive.  I bought a new driver and fairway wood last year and it cost me close to $600 for the pair.  Tennis shoes (I’m referring to any athletic shoes) are a clear #2 in sports, although they did experience a 5% decline in revenue between 2007 and 2008.  The next four are all sports that U.S. kids typically play growing up, so it’s not surprising to see that kind of money being spent on those sporting goods.  A guy told me yesterday that every sport his kids play costs him $100, every single year they play.  While obviously not scientific, the point is that parent’s are laying out a lot of cash to put their kids in the latest baseball, football, basketball and soccer gear.

Sports are a big part of culture, so I don’t expect any decline in spending for sporting goods to last long beyond the current recession.  People need sports, so they will continue to spend aggressively on the necessary equipment.

Posted in Apparel & Shoes, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »