Maria Sharapova says her business ventures have provided the education which her tennis career never allowed time to achieve. And Sharapova, one of only two women on Forbes Magazine's 2012 list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes, said no venture has offered as steep or satisfying a learning curve as her Sugarpova candy brand that debuted last year.
"One of the things that I have really picked up over the many years I have worked with different brands and people is that I never really had a solid education in my career, but I have always liked to listen and I have liked to learn," Sharapova said Friday after booking her third round berth at the WTA's BNP Paribas Open. "That was my way of learning, is through being in so many different types of meetings, whether they were creative ones, whether they were with ad agencies."
Around the world
The $22 million she made in endorsements last year helped prepare her for her own venture, which she said is still growing. Three new products are to be introduced in the next three weeks and new markets are being added.
"Right now we are trying to get around the world," said the 25-year-old, adding she has a sweet tooth, but it was the name "Sugarpova" -- the brainchild of business collaborator Jeff Rubin -- that dictated the direction her business would take. "It makes me laugh to this day when people say the name," she said. "I just want to giggle."