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Maria-Sharapova: Fail to renew sponsorship

Brand name is the unique name for the product of the particular manufacturer or service-provider. Development of brand-name led to the mass marketing of brand-name products in the 19th, 20th, and 21st century. The advertising technique is used to promote brand-name products. It includes entering into sponsorship-agreements with sporting-celebrities for endorsed-associations and associated-appearances of brand-name products. The international corporate sponsors seek legal protection of brand-name through registration of Trade-Mark or Service-Mark, and grant of Intellectual Property by registry concerned.

Legal-Protection of Brand-Name

This legal-protection of brand-names extends to accusations of cheating to reputation of brand-ambassador, and international corporate sponsors seek legal protection of brand-name by retaining the right to terminate sponsorship agreements if there is such declaration of drug abuse cheating by sporting-celebrities to enhance their sporting performance that is the basis of their off field earnings from endorsements, appearances, and royalties.

Case-Study of Maria Sharapova

Let us examine, and review the case of international Tennis star 5-time Grand-Slam winner Maria Sharapova who won Wimbledon in 2004 as the 17-year-old and is the principal-subject of this article.

That as per recent news reports Swiss watch maker TAG-HEUER has terminated its sponsorship agreement with Maria Sharapova for non endorsement of its brand-name, and product-line, and non appearances associated with its brand-name, and product-line, after American shoe apparel maker NIKE, and German sports-car maker ’Porsche’ released press statements indicating that it would take the final-decision to terminate its sponsorship-agreement with Maria Sharapova subject to what punitive-developments are announced by International Tennis Governing Body, International Tennis Federation [ITF], and World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA], following Tennis star Maria Sharapova failed drug test, and public-announcement of it before the world press, who is up until now is officially-figured as the world’s highest paid female athlete, according to Forbes-magazine.

Maria Sharapova failed  drug at the Australian Open in January 2016, which is one of four annual Grand  Slam events, and signals start of the international tennis season will likely lead, or has already led to the ban for the 28-year-old Russian tennis star by the time this article is published who is up until last year in 2015 for the 11th consecutive-year, had off-court career earning from endorsements, appearances, and royalties cumulatively at more than $200-Million, and earned $29.7 million last year in 2015 alone, according to FORBES magazine.

The immediate adverse-response to Maria Sharapova announcement has also signaled  the change in marketing attitude of international corporate sponsors who wish to disassociate with doping scandals, and resulting reports of drug-abuse & civil-cheating to deceive international sports-governing bodies, national-federations, WADA, of their right to govern and regulate Sports in free & fair manner, and paying fans of their Right to read, listen, and see sporting performance that is equally free & fair, for the intended-purpose or motive of making unlawful-gains from recognition fame through marketing publicity, Prize-Monies from victory on-court, Off-Court Incomes from endorsement, appearances and royalties all of which ultimately leads to bribery & corruption of world sports, and unduly-influencing the youthful public to drug abuse cheating.

This zero tolerance era for inter-national corporate sponsors is the outcome of the amount of scrutiny the corporate are now under from governments and regulators, and share holders.

International Tennis Federation (ITF) anti-doping program calls for the 4-years suspension for the positive test, and that the ban can be reduced in various circumstances, such as if the Maria Sharapova shows no significant fault or negligence on her part.

That in any final-decision or adjudication of executive or judicial authority, cognizance is always taken of circumstances as mentioned above.

1st Facts & Circumstance

That the banned-substance for which Maria Sharapova had tested POSITIVE is drug Meldonium, the drug she said she had been taking for 10 years to treat Diabetes and Low-Magnesium. This substance Meldonium, has been recently banned by the WADA, because it boosts blood flow and can enhance athletic performance.

 2nd Facts & Circumstance

Maria Sharapova, who resides in the United-States of America [USA], is the 7th athlete in the recent-past to test ’positive’ for the drug Meldonium.

3rd Facts & Circumstance

World Anti Doping Agency[WADA] added drug Meldonium to its latest list of banned drugs effective 1-January-2016, which it circulated to competitors.

4th Facts & Circumstance

The case of US Cyclist Lance Armstrong who was treated for testicular-cancer, and then recovered to participate in international competition.


That it is now up to the reader to judge whether Maria Sharapova lack of awareness as she claims is valid-excuse to evade her responsibility to always know or possess knowledge about what is being placed on the banned list.

Author – Arjun J Chaudhuri

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