Maria Sharapova has battled through plenty during her tennis career, fighting back from shoulder injuries and surgery to win the 2014 French Open. But while the Russian standout may have lingering concerns over the speed of her serve, there’s one thing Sharapova has never really had to worry about – money.
The long-time tennis pro and former World No. 1 is perpetually the top-paid female athlete and there’s one very specific reason why. Sharapova is raking in the endorsements. She boasts sponsorship from Nike to Tag Heuer and even just recently became the face of the Avon fragrance line.
As Sharapova once against squares off against Serena Williams in the Wimbledon semifinals on Saturday morning, she does have one edge on the favorite and that rests squarely in her bank account balance. Here’s what you need to know about Sharapova’s sponsors:
1. Sharapova’s Biggest Endorsement Deal is With Nike
Maria Sharapova seems to have a hand – or even a picture – in just about every kind of business venture but her longest and most lucrative endorsement comes from an old standby – Nike. The Russian native and the sportswear empire have collaborated for more than a decade and, in 2010, extended their contract for eight years with a $70 million paycheck for Sharapova.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Sharapova also received a percentage of sales on her name-branded clothing line with Nike and the deal with the company made history as the highest endorsement contact for a female athlete eve.
2. Sharapova Was Named the Face of Avon Fragrances in 2014
Sharapova has always been in high demand as a model when she isn’t busy winning Grand Slam titles but in 2014, the former World No. 1 took her off-the-court career to a whole other level as Avon named her the face of its fragrance line, Luck.
Sharapova released a statement on the the career move, saying:
I am excited to represent Avon Luck, a fragrance that reminds us to savor and truly enjoy our triumphs. kier you are because you strive for bigger goals. I love being able to partner with a company like Avon that empowers women around the world to accomplish their dreams.
Sharapova paid tribute to her mother in her most recent Avon ad, citing her influence on her life and career.
3. She Added a 3-Year Deal With Porsche in 2013
Sharapova isn’t exactly known for her driving skills or love of cars but that certainly didn’t stop Porsche from, in a somewhat surprising move, naming her as its first global endorser in 2013.
The deal was a three-year contract and Sharapova’s second vehicle endorsement after inking a contract with Land Rover in 2006 before cutting ties two years later when Ford sold the brand.
4. Sharapova Also Endorses Tag Heuer, Evian & Tiffany
There is no rest for the endorsement-weary and Sharapova is showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to putting her name on products. In addition to her top money-making deals, Sharapova also boasts contracts with a handful of other companies including watch-maker Tag Heuer, Evian water and top-tier jewelry store Tiffany & Co.
In fact, Sharapova even boasts her own watches and earrings with the respective companies, building her own brand away from center court. She told The New York Times:
I’ve been very competitive by nature from a young age, whether it was eating a bowl of pasta faster than somebody else, or always wanting to be the first one in line. I don’t care what’s in the contracts. Tell them I’ll do whatever they want, whatever they need.
5. Sharapova’s Endorsement Deals Total More than $22 Million
According to The Moscow Times, Sharapova made just over $24 million between 2013 and 2014 in both endorsements and prize money. However, only $2.4 million of that total was from actually playing tennis. That means, over the 12 month period, Sharapova raked in over $22 million in endorsements, a number that is so staggering that most other female athletes do not even come close.
But why is Sharapova leading the endorsement pack?
It all started when she won Wimbledon at 17 and started on a track of endorsement deals that has continued to grow, no matter what seems to happen in her career. Last March, shortly after the launch of her own company Sugarpova, Pinkberry inked a deal with her to offer the candy as a topping in its shops around the world.
It also helps that corporate bias is alive and well throughout the world and, for all intents and purposes, Sharapova – and her photo – sells products.