The tennis world has been rocked by controversy this week. Former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova threatened to change her name to Sugarpova for the duration of the US Open in a bid to promote her new sweet range called, yes you guessed it, Sugarpova.
The move sparked outrage among television commentators everywhere, most of whom let it be known they would refuse to use the new moniker during their commentary.
‘I will not be saying "Sugarpova",’ said the BBC and Eurosport’s David Mercer. ‘It strikes me as ludicrous if we’re getting to a situation where players change their names for two-week tournaments. It’s treating the sport with contempt.’
It turns out, somewhat predictably, it was all a clever ploy – Sharapova (the highest paid sportswomen in the world, with reported earnings of $29m) never intended to change her name, she simply wanted to create a media storm, with her ‘sweeties directly’ in the epicentre. ‘Sugarpova,’ was mentioned in some 9,000 tweets on Tuesday. Well played.
The Russian-born tennis star, ranked 3rd in the world and who crashed out of Wimbledon in the second round this year, has reportedly spent $500,000 on her new sickly sweet venture. According to reports, she’s expecting to sell one million bags of the jellies, which have names such as ‘Smitten Sour,’ ‘Quirky’ and ‘Sporty’, in the first year. At approximately $1.10 profit per bag, that’s very sweet indeed.
If she’s looking for advice on how to handle the world of candy she could turn to a number of her celebrity peers, she certainly isn’t the first celeb to venture into candyland.
1. Heidi Klum
The supermodel may look like she’s never eaten a sweet in her life, and indeed she probably hasn’t, but that didn’t stop her from launching her own range of sweets. Heidi’s Fruit Flirtations claimed to be fat free and sported a lovely cartoon version of her face on the packet, but still didn’t set the confectionary world alight.
2. Gisele Bundchen, Matt Damon, John Legend and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey
An all-star cast were lined up to star in the promotional video made to promote Unreal candy. All of the aforementioned stars pop up in the video eating the stuff. ‘Unreal is a company that has reinvented candy without the junk,’ it claims. Watching a supermodel make mint tea then shove a bunch of colourful sweets in her gob may well sound heavenly to some. MT thought it was a bit weird.
3. Sylvester Stallone
If it’s bulging, veiny muscles you’re after then Sly Stallone has got the desert just for you. Yep, the Stallone High Protein Pudding comes with 20 grams of protein and a ‘lifestyle challenge,' - we shudder to think what that could mean.
4. Liz Hurley
You certainly won’t find Ms Hurley’s fruit and oat bars in Morrisons but if you ever venture into the Harrod’s food hall you might just come across some of the lesser-spotted bars, which she launched back in 2009. Bedazzled? Not us...