Primary File

Maria Sharapova: Banishment from WTA Tour and a Loss of Sponsorship

Coughlin, J., Fritz, N., O’Rourke, J. S. (editor)
January 17, 2018
North America
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
11 pages
Brand Management, Crisis Management, Ethics, Media Relations, Reputation Management
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.75)
Average rating: 

Maria Sharapova, the world’s highest-paid female athlete for 11-straight years and five-time Grand Slam tennis champion, admitted testing positive for the banned drug Meldonium during the 2016 Australian Open. Following her admission, sponsors such as Nike, Porsche, and Tag Heuer quickly distanced themselves from Sharapova as she began her two-year suspension. This case examines the consequences on Sharapova and her multi-million-dollar brand, the value of celebrity endorsements and their associated risks, and the effects of social media reactions during a crisis. 11 pp. Case # 17- 09

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To demonstrate an example of how an individual chose to communicate during a crisis and encourage analysis of the approach;
  2. To encourage discussion about crafting communication strategies to multiple stakeholder groups;
  3. To demonstrate how a corporation is effected, both positively and negatively, by celebrity endorsements and sponsorships;
  4. To highlight the role social media plays in celebrity or corporate scandals and encourage discussion on how to manage reactions.