Name changer: Sharapova to become 'Sugarpova' to promote her sweet business

22-08-2013 07:29 AM

Ammon News - MOSCOW (Russia Today) - Russia’s tennis star Maria Sharapova is legally seeking to change her name to Sugarpova for the two weeks of the US Open. The highest earning female athlete wants the ‘quickie’ switch to promote the brand of lollies she launched a year ago.

Sharapova has approached the Florida Supreme Court about the legal short-term switch, London's The Times reports. US Open organizer’s would also need to approve the use of ‘Sugarpova’ as a surname before it can be displayed during the tournament. The tennis player reportedly plans to wear the Sugarpova lips logo on her tennis clothes, and to revert to her original surname immediately after the games.

The news has appeared on the eve of the anniversary of her Sugarpova brand. Maria Sharapova launched the candy and chewing cum brand in August 2012, with the sweets now being sold across 15 countries. She reportedly invested $500,000 of personal funds in the company. Sugarpova sold 1.5 million bags of sweets in its first year at $US6 a package.

The company’s profits have helped Sharapova become the highest earning female athlete in the world, according to Forbes. The tennis player reportedly earned $US29 million between June 2012 and July, with the lion’s share of her profits coming from endorsement deals. Sharapova got $6 million in prizes, with the remaining $23 million coming from contracts with such mega-brands as Nike, Porsche, Head, Tag Heuer, Samsung Elecronics and Evian.

The tennis star’s candy business has been criticized for promoting unhealthy eating. In Britain, the National Obesity Forum accused Sharapova of being "irresponsible", Reuters reports. She has plans to expand the Sugarpova brand into cosmetics, fashion and other accessories.

Maria Sharapova has already attempted to promote her business with a similar advertising campaign during Wimbledon, but organizers refused her request. If she manages to change her name for the US Open, she will be following the example of NBA basketball player Ron Artest, who changed his name to Metta World Peace in 2011.In his case the change had no time limit and was done "to inspire and bring youth together all around the world".

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