Tennis player-cum-entrepreneur Maria Sharapova just turned sports administrator. The World No 2 tennis star is reportedly all set to organise a professional tennis tournament in Los Angeles this December.
Maria Sharapova. Pic/AFP
The two-day exhibition event that will include some of the world's top tennis stars will be a perfectly marketable package of sport and entertainment and will be held at the LA Tennis Center.
The men's professional tour event in LA was moved to Bogota in Colombia in 2012, while the and women's edition was shifted to Carlsbad in California back in 2009 leaving one of America's leading cities devoid of any top-level tennis action. And Sharapova wants to cash in on just this.
"There's actually a big tennis community in LA, but we haven't seen a high quality of tennis here or big-name athletes come and play in front of crowds," said Sharapova.
The event will contribute in part to the Maria Sharapova Foundation, which is dedicated to helping underprivileged children around the world.
It is learnt that Sharapova is herself involved in planning the event and is looking into minute details from arranging for music and DJs to personally picking precious gifts for the participants.
"You're presenting an idea creatively that has never happened before. It takes a lot of talks and meetings and convincing people," added the 28-year-old, who looks set to add to her burgeoning business empire.
Sharapova already has her own line of candy — Sugarpova, besides multi-million dollar deals with some of the world's top brands like Nike, Cole Haan, Evian, etc.
Recently, Forbes magazine named Sharapova as the world's highest-paid female athlete for the 11th consecutive year with estimated earnings of $29.7 million.