In 2012, Maria Sharapova had the honor of serving her homeland of Russia as the flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London. The career Grand Slam winner would go on to capture a silver medal in women’s singles at those Games. With the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in her childhood home of Sochi, where her parents settled when she was 2, Maria Sharapova has joined NBC as a special correspondent. Although she moved to the United States when she was 7 and has assimilated completely with American customs and speech, Masha has always been very clear about her nationality and where her heart is. Being the world’s highest paid female athlete, a future Hall of Famer in her sport and one of the most recognizable female athletes on earth combined with her ties to Sochi, it’s a logical choice for NBC to hire Sharapova. I suspect when her tennis career does come to an end (although she’s only 26 so that could be many years away…seems like she’s been around forever), she will be quickly hired by some network to work in front of the camera.
In other Masha news, she sat down with the Wall Street Journal prior to the 2013 US Open to talk about her line of candy, Sugarpova. They only recently posted the video on YouTube, so I will stick it in here as a bonus to the NBC Sochi post. Clearly, with her success with endorsements already making her the top paid female athlete, this is a business savvy player who is setting up revenue streams that transcend what she receives through tennis related endorsements.