January 15, 2016
Private aviation firm NetJets has entered a partnership with Maria Sharapova, becoming the latest luxury brand to align itself with the tennis star.
Ms. Sharapova will collaborate with the NetJets marketing team, including a focus on social media, and will also provide exclusive experiences to its fractional owners. She has been a NetJets owner since 2004, lending more credibility to this affiliation.
Ms. Sharapova has been competing on the Women’s Tennis Association tour for almost 15 years. The 28-year-old athlete is currently ranked fifth in the WTA, and she has earned 35 singles titles in her career and has won five grand slams throughout her career.
Besides her athletic prowess, Ms. Sharapova is a covetable brand partner for her strong social media following. In 2014, she surpassed 15 million fans on Facebook, becoming the first tennis player to do so, and she has more than 1 million Instagram followers.
“Working with Ms. Sharapova is an ace for us. She is a best in class athlete, business owner and philanthropist,” said Pat Gallagher, NetJets executive vice president of sales and marketing, in a brand statement. “We are delighted to partner with her as she travels the globe for her sports, business and charitable work.”
According to Forbes rankings, Ms. Sharapova has been the highest paid female athlete for the past nine years, making her a fitting partner for luxury brands. Ms. Sharapova also serves as a brand ambassador for Tag Heuer and Porsche.
Tag Heuer staged a floating tennis match between Ms. Sharapova and Michael Chang in Singapore in 2015 (see story). For Porsche, the athlete was cast alongside other great competitors in a recent television spot (see story).