Even 'Sugarpova' can't sweet-talk bureaucrats [Mercury, The (South Africa)]
(Mercury, The (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW YORK: World number three tennis star Maria Sharapova has rolled back on her publicity effort to promote the one-year anniversary of her "Sugarpova" sweets line, which would have involved legally changing her name for the upcoming US Open to Maria Sugarpova.
The wild scheme evidently met a bureaucratic fate, according to her handlers.
Sharapova's agent, Max Eisenbud, told ESPN that his client would not be going ahead with the project after the team realised that she might not have time to change it back in time to play September events in Asia.
With her passport reading "Sharapova", the immigration hurdles might just be too high even for the world's highest-paid sportswoman to clear.
While the name-change lark is no longer on, the promotion of the brand goes on, with marketing opportunities for the 15 types of sweets abounding at the Open.
At the least, the name-swop got some free publicity, with tweets mentioning "Sugarpova" totalling about 9 000 on Tuesday, a 50-percent jump, according to social analytics company Topsy.com.
Meanwhile television commentators said they would refuse to call her by the name of her branded sweets, even if she did succeed in changing her name to "Sugarpova" during the US Open, with one saying any such move would treat tennis "with contempt".
Tennis experts suggested the talk may just be a marketing ploy for the sweets without her following through.
Sharapova allegedly applied to the Florida Supreme Court for a "quickie" name change, according to The Times, although a court spokeswoman denied this. - Sapa-dpa-The Independent
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