How Maria Sharapova Grew Her Candy Company Sugarpova

Hailing from Russia, Maria Sharapova was only six years old when she moved to the United States to continue her tennis training in Florida. After turning pro, Sharapova started winning big in 2003 and gained fans and popularity, winning Grand Slam titles and WTA Championships. For eleven years in a row during her active tennis career, Maria Sharapova was the highest-paid female athlete in the world. Along with her grand slam earrings, she received large paychecks for her brand endorsements and business ventures, leading to a $180 million fortune. In 2012, Sharapova invested $500,000 in creating a candy brand Sugarpova that sold a variety of confectionery.

Today, Sugarpova makes over $20 million in annual earnings and has a net worth of over $195 million. As the tennis star is the company’s sole owner, a sizable portion of the profits is earned by her. What began as a simple dream to build a company due to Maria Sharapova’s love for candy has grown into a multi-million dollar brand. Let’s take a look at how she grew her candy company Sugarpova.

8 Maria Had A Sweet-Tooth Since Childhood

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One of the essential parts of starting a business is having a passion for it, and Maria Sharapova has had a sweet tooth since she was a child. She has detailed on many occasions that lollipop candies were her incentive after a good day’s practice on the tennis court. As a candy addict, she decided to launch a range of fifteen of her favorite candy varieties at once to grow a market for her brand.

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7 High-Quality Sweets With Best Curated Ingredients

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Sharapova wanted to bring the same essence to her candy company as a symbol of classic elegance. With Sugarpova, each product is a classic candy but has been offered in accessible luxury. According to Sugarpova, the company began by selling various gummy candies in multiple shapes, including a tennis ball and the outline of Maria’s lips. However, it made several additions to the response, including chewing gums, chocolate, and truffles.

6 Using The Right Ideology For Launching Her Brand

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Maria Sharapova credits her grandmother as an inspiration for her candy company’s launch. The tennis star has reminisced about sitting in her grandmother’s kitchen and watching her bake sweets. She had an unsure vision of the future of Sugarpova after its launch and what the brand would look like 5-10 years later, but she learned and developed the skills required to become an entrepreneur and sell her products.

5 Introducing Chocolate To Triple The Sales

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It took Sharapova a long time before she launched chocolate to her brand. The chocolate line was made available in 2016, fifteen months after she began the search for the right chocolatier. She went with the Illinois-based company Baron Chocolatier and worked closely with the team to introduce various lip-shaped chocolates in multiple combinations. As reported by CNN, she first debuted at the Wimbledon Village ahead of the grand slam tournament.

4 Capitalizing On Star Power For The Unique-Shaped Candy

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Maria Sharapova is one of the most famous faces in the world of sports. Through her style and elegance, she has many ventures under her belt. She capitalized on her star power and active social media presence to generate sales. Her candies come in various shapes for a $4.99 per bag price tag. While she sold $250,000 bags in the first three months of the business in 2012, her sales surged within four years as she sold more than 5 million bags in a year.

3 Exclusive Agreements And Global Expansion

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Sugarpova made exclusive sale agreements with various big chain companies to sell her products. She teamed up with Candylicious at the Dubai Mall to open her first pop-up shop in the Middle East in 2019, as noted by Confectionary News. The global expansion continued in the UK, wherein the famed truffles, candies, and gummies were sold. Travel retailers Hudson Group exclusively agreed with Sharapova’s candy line to sell Sugarpova products for their customers.

2 Deals With Top Brands For The Larger Access

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Along with having exclusive agreements with big retail chains, it is essential to keep the momentum going with top brands. Sharapova has been a long-term brand ambassador for Evian, a luxury mineral water bottle brand, and collaborated on a giveaway that included Sugarpova treats with Evian bottles. As mentioned by Forbes, through its deals with big chains like Kroger Co. and 7-Eleven, Sharapova’s candy became available in over 50,000 locations by 2018.

1 Donating Through Collaborations To Gain Traction

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Sugarpova has shown that even philanthropy can lead to an increase in sales. The tennis star made collaboration with Lotte Hotels and Resorts, a luxury hospitality chain based in South Korea, wherein a portion of the Sugarpova sales at the Moscow Hotel would be donated to orphanages in Russia. The charitable move drove audiences to increase the sales, of which a portion was used to help the needy.

While Maria Sharapova struggled to know the vision of her candy company when she started Sugarpova, she learned to build her maiden brand through endorsements, advertisements, and using her star power to gain traction for the products. The unique products offered are a luxurious take on the classic candy everyone loves.

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Sources: Sugarpova, CNN, Confectionary News, Forbes

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