Maria Sharapova was noticeably absent from the US Open tennis this past fortnight, but the tennis star who’s got sponsors lined up around the block has been making the most of her time in New York by perching front row at fashion shows and signing sponsorship deals.
Sharapova has just signed a deal with Cole Haan, a subsidiary of NIKE – Sharapova’s tennis clothing sponsor, to act as their “lead collaborator” and face of the spring 2009 Cole Haan Sporting collection.
“Maria Sharapova embodies the blend of fashion and sport that makes Cole Haan Sporting unique,” said Cole Haan Chief Executive Officer James Seuss. “We created this collection as the foundation to a dynamic lifestyle – weaving Cole Haan’s history of craftsmanship with Nike’s tradition of high-performance innovation.”
The 21-year-old Florida-raised Russian, will model the Spring 2009 collection with her design collaborations beginning with the Fall 2009 collection. According to the release, the Cole Haan Sporting collection aims to pair Cole Haan’s authentic craftsmanship with Nike’s sports innovation.
“Cole Haan Sporting proves that fashion and technology can work together to change the way women think about and wear sport-inspired product,” said Sharapova. “I look forward to working with Cole Haan to bring new innovations to this leading fashion brand with such a rich history.”
Sharapova’s other sponsors include the likes of Tiffany’s (you can buy the jewels she would have worn if she had played at the US Open), Tag Heuer, and Canon – which earn her a reported $18 million a year.
Who needs to play in the year’s last Grand Slam for only $1.5 million if you win?