“Felt Truly My Own”: Maria Sharapova Reveals What Made Her Launch ‘Sugarpova’

Published 01/04/2021, 10:00 AM EST
International Tennis player Maria Sharapova poses for a photo at Hudson News in Grand Central Station on August 21, 2018 in New York City. Hudson Group announced this summer that it will serve as the exclusive United States travel retailer for sales of her candy line at Sugarpova. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Sugarpova)


Former Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has revealed how she came to launch her own candy line.

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After bidding goodbye to tennis, the Russian became the founder and CEO of ‘Sugarpova’, a global candy line venture that has turned her into a successful entrepreneur.

Maria Sharapova says she picked business skills after working with big brands

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Appearing in a podcast, the five-time Grand Slam champion said that while she dabbled in fashion even during her playing, after retirement she wanted to launch a business enterprise of her own.

She said that after lending her name to some leading global brands and working with her sponsors, she came to understand the nitty gritties of business.

“There was a time when after working and having relationships with incredible brands and understanding business a little bit more, I just felt like I wanted to take up something that felt truly my own, my own company and my own brand.

“Confection and sweets was a childhood memory, a souvenir that I would take back to my friends in Russia from the United States.

“I would find these gummies in different shapes, colors and flavors which I had never seen back home. I’d pack them up, I’d go to Joan’s Craft Store, would make little cute bags out of them and be going home back to Russia,” Sharapova said.

“I would share it with my friends and they’d be like, ‘what is this type of candy?’  And I was like, this is America,” the Russian said.

Sharapova says her venture started with 12 flavored gummies

Sharapova said the business idea came from those typically flavored candies and she designed 12 kinds of gummies to launch her venture with.

“So following that, I had this idea of starting a sweets line, beginning with gummies. So we created 12 different flavors of gummies, we came up with the name ‘Sugarpova’.

“I worked on the packaging myself with a branding agency and it all kind of came together so fast, so quick that I didn’t think twice about it.

“I knew while I was going through rehab on my shoulder and injury that I had this other thing to focus on,” Sharapova said.

“It seemed like THE perfect launch”: Sharapova

“I remember our big launch day, we launched with (women’s accessories major) Henri Bendel, which was a huge deal for me, being such a fan of their products and accessories, like the place that I’d visit when I’d go to New York City.

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“It seemed like THE perfect launch. You need to be selling a $5 dollar product in thousands of retailers and I was happy I was in a Henri Bendel.

“And my business team was like, ‘so, this is going to make you much money’,” Sharapova said.

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The two-time French Open champion also takes an interest in interior designing.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

820 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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