CNBC: Maria Sharapova serves up even more success off tennis court
Maria Sharapova is much more than a five-time Grand Slam winner at just 27 years old. Fresh off of winning her second French Open title earlier this year, the tennis star is gearing up for the U.S. Open next week. Yet, off the court she has business on her mind.
On Monday, she unveiled her first Sugarpova pop-up store at the Andaz Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Her Sugarpova candy business has grown by leaps and bounds since it launched in 2012. Her collection of gummy candies are now sold in more than 30 countries. Last year she sold 1.3 million bags of candy, and she expects to double that figure this year.
Sharapova told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” she couldn’t be happier with the success of Sugarpova. “When I started this I wanted it to be a very unique project, something different that the market has not seen in the gummy world and I think we have created that.” She also recently signed a deal with Pinkberry, the upscale frozen yogurt franchise founded in West Hollywood.
In a special “How To Be Self Made” event at the Andaz Hotel, Self Magazine unveiled its September cover issue, which features Sharapova on the cover and explores what it means to be a self-made woman.
Besides developing her Sugarpova business and excelling on the tennis court, Sharapova also became a global brand ambassador for Porsche last year and recently became the face of Avon’s new fragrance, Luck. This fall she is also expected to launch her own line of sleepwear.
Despite initial trepidation, she has also made quite a name for herself on social media, with 1.2 million followers on Twitter and 14 million likes on Facebook.
“At the beginning, I was a little bit scared of social media, because I am usually quite a reserved and private person. It has given me a much better chance to connect with my fans.”
Sharapova is currently the highest paid female athlete in the world, according to Forbes. She earned an estimated $29 million last year, $23 million of which came from her countless endorsements, including deals with Evian, Porsche and Nike.
She is ranked No. 6 in the women’s field heading into the U.S. Open.