The car trophy the tennis superstar won for her win in Stuttgart is a non-starter. Gary Meenaghan explains why.
Having amassed more than US$25 million (Dh91.8m) in prize money during her career and an estimated $22m last year alone in endorsements, the last thing Maria Sharapova needs is for somebody to gift her a new Porsche. Actually, that is not quite true. The last thing she needs is for somebody to gift her another new Porsche.
And yet that is exactly what she was awarded on Sunday evening after she successfully defended her Stuttgart title against Li Na. It makes you wonder what she does with such a prize: Sell it? Give it to a friend? Keep it in a glass garage alongside all her other cars?
So the tournament is the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and they need to market their brand, but surely there is a better way to do so than to give a multi-millionaire a car that they do not need? She was, after all, given $125,000 for winning the tournament.
Perhaps she will get it insured and drive it to Paris next month; a relaxing road trip ahead of the French Open. However Sharapova gets to France, she will undoubtedly now arrive as favourite.
She has won 16 consecutive matches on clay and looks as indomitable as ever. Li, the 2011 French Open champion, hoped for a better result, but her Russian opponent outclassed her to take a second title of the year.
The result also removed a problem for Porsche. Li, sponsored by Mercedes, would have been contractually forbidden from taking part in the presentation.
Time to rethink that marketing strategy, guys.