2012 U.S. Open: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, More Than Tennis Players

James WilliamsAnalyst IIISeptember 7, 2012

Sharapova has established a brand off the court.
Sharapova has established a brand off the court.Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Every time that Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams take the court, they command the attention of the fans. They are both known for their powerful serves and blistering ground strokes, but both women are far than just stars on the tennis court.

Both Sharapova and Williams are smart business women who have taken their stardom on the court and translated it into power off the court. Both women have established brands that will set them up for long successful lives after they chose to put their rackets down.

According to Forbes Magazine  Sharapova holds the lofty position of being the world’s highest paid woman athlete. Her on court winnings stand at $5.9 million this year and she pulled in another $22 million off the court.

Forbes lists Evian, Head, Nike, Samsung and Tag Heuer as her top sponsors. Also sales for the Maria Sharapova Collection doubled last year. Her ballet flat is the "best selling female shoe for Cole Haan." Candy company called Sugarpova has just been established.  

The 25-year-old Sharapova is a very smart business woman, and she has a passion for fashion which is something that we might be seeing added to the list of things in her ever-expanding business portfolio.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams has shown a flair for business, as well. According to Forbes, she has banked over $35 million in career prize money. The 30-year-old Williams has endorsement deals with the Home Shopping Network, where she sells her own line of clothing that she designs. She is also well paid by Nike, Wilson and Gatorade. The exact amount of Williams are not known, but she recently added a new sponsors to her group Sleep Sheets which, according Forbes, “are strips with melatonin that melt in your mouth. “

So today as you watch these two women play in their semi final matches at the U.S. Open with hopes of a showdown in the finals. Win or lose “Sharapova, Inc.” and “Williams and Company,” are all set to keep on rolling long after this weekend is over.