Maria Sharapova, 26, may be joining the ranks of athletes that have changed their names such as Metta World Peace and Chad Ochocinco. Reports indicate Sharapova is looking to change her surname to Sugarpova in order to promote her line of gummy candies.
Sugarpova is the candy business venture by Sharapova, currently the third-ranked player in the world, and after launching in 2012, the tennis star wants to raise the brand’s awareness. The Times reported Sharapova was looking to change her name for a two-week duration during the 2013 U.S. Open and inquired about changing her name to Sugarpova with the Supreme Court of Florida. The name change would not be permanent and would revert back to Sharapova after the tournament.
In addition to changing her name for the 2013 U.S. Open, Sharapova’s attire for the tournament will feature the Sugarpova logo, a puckered up pair of red lips, prominently. Sharapova’s gummy candy line features lip-shaped and tennis ball- shaped candies with a range of flavors including “Quirky Sour,” “Splashy,” “Cheeky” and “Spooky Sour.” According to CBS Sports, the 2006 U.S. Open champion has invested $500,000 in her candy business.
Sharapova will be considered one of the favorites to win the 2013 U.S. Open. William Hill has her at 8-1 odds trailing only Victoria Azarenka (3-1) and Serena Williams (8/11), and a move to promote Sugarpova will likely be seen by millions tuning in to watch her matches. If Florida does grant her a temporary name change it will be interesting to see how the announcers will react.
The possible name change to Sugarpova is only the latest in a series of news revolving around the tennis star. Last week, Sharapova fired her coach, Jimmy Connors, after just 34 days and one match, a loss to Sloane Stephens at the Western & Southern Open. Sharapova has earned a name on the tennis court, but her endorsements have generated the most income for the player. According to Forbes, Sharapova was the highest paid female athlete in 2012, earning $6 million in prizes and $23 million in endorsements.