Once a renowned athlete holding every Grand Slam title, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has proven that her prowess extends far beyond the tennis court. In the world of business, she has turned her entrepreneurial endeavours into an astonishing €170 million success with her candy company, Sugarpova.
A Sweet Swing from Sports to Sweets
Sharapova invested approximately €460,000 into Sugarpova at its inception, demonstrating not just her financial commitment, but also a bold belief in her business acumen. The brand, which offers a broad assortment of sweets and candies, has witnessed an extraordinary rise in profitability, earning around €18 million annually.
This income surpasses what Sharapova garnered during her illustrious tennis career, underlining the magnitude of her transition from sports to business. Despite facing criticism for promoting confectionery – considered unhealthy food – to children and young people, Sharapova stands by her venture.
During an interview with CNBC, she acknowledged the critique, but defended her position. "I don't know that it's fair, but I understand the criticism," she stated, adding, "I'm an athlete that knows what is healthy and what is not for my body.
Being healthy is one of the biggest priorities as a professional athlete. But, on the other hand, I also know that everyone loves sweets, including myself."
From Champion Athlete to Business Advisor
Beyond the success of Sugarpova, Sharapova's business acuity has earned her a prestigious position in the National Association of Business Women of Russia.
Here, she serves as an advisor to fellow entrepreneurs and businesswomen, further highlighting her impact and influence within the business world. While Sharapova now resides in the United States and is engaged to British billionaire Alexander Gilkes, she will forever be remembered for her incredible achievements on the tennis court.
At just 17, she secured her first Wimbledon victory in 2004, and by 2006 she had also claimed the US Open. Sharapova's victory march continued with an Australian Open win in 2008, and triumphs at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014. Furthermore, her brilliant performance at the 2012 London Olympics brought her a silver medal.