Maria Sharapova's Candid Take on Tennis Industry's Missed Opportunity in Marketing Coco Gauff's Sensational US Open Victory


Maria Sharapova’s Candid Take on Tennis Industry’s Missed Opportunity in Marketing Coco Gauff’s Sensational US Open Victory

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Maria Sharapova: Tennis Needs to Boost Star Marketing, Cites Coco Gauff’s US Open Win

During a recent appearance on Bloomberg, former tennis superstar Maria Sharapova emphasized the need for the tennis industry to enhance its promotion of its rising stars, highlighting Coco Gauff’s victory at the US Open as a prime example of missed marketing opportunities.

At the 2023 US Open, the 19-year-old Gauff made history by clinching her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first American teenager since Serena Williams in 1999 to achieve this feat at Flushing Meadows. Sharapova, who has transitioned into the business world post-retirement, discussed the business aspects of tennis with host Jason Kelly.

Sharapova expressed her concerns about the marketing of tennis stars:

“I mean, it’s a loaded question. There are a lot of options and roads. I mean, look, let’s start with the fact you had Ted on the stage, and I was listening to his talk on my way here. He spoke about engagement and the importance of engagement. You had Coco Gauff winning her first Major at the US Open in New York City.

I mean the crowd, the bridging culture, sport, fashion, all in that moment. Two weeks later, three weeks later… How many people know that she’s playing a tournament, like the China Open in Beijing? She got to the semifinals and lost, but I’m sure 99 percent of the audience at the US Open had no idea where she was playing next. Right away, that’s off the bat, that’s a problem,” Sharapova noted.

With the retirement of tennis legends like Serena Williams and Roger Federer last year, and the likelihood of Rafael Nadal retiring in 2024, the burden now falls on the sport to nurture and promote new champions who can carry the game forward for many years. In contrast, 36-year-old Novak Djokovic has shown no signs of retiring in the near future, setting the stage for a transition in the sport’s star lineup.


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