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August 19, 2006

Maria Sharapova Dispels 'Pretty Girl' Image in First Solo Nike Campaign

Tennis Greats John & Patrick McEnroe, Mary Joe Fernandez Featured.

With the final tennis slam of the year beginning August 28, Nike (NYSE:NKE) unveils its first television commercial spotlighting Maria Sharapova. Maria is currently ranked No. 4 in the world and she has just won her 12th career title following her victory at the recent Acura Tennis Classic.

NIKE SPORTS

The campaign leads with an advertising spot that playfully communicates the message that beneath Maria's beautiful, feminine exterior lives the intense competitive appetite of one of the top athletes in the world.

NIKE MARIA SHARAPOVA


The ad features Maria during her pre-game routine as she travels from her hotel to center court, passing hotel bellmen, fans and other players -- all as they are singing "I Feel Pretty." Through this procession, she remains focused on the upcoming match. As she enters Arthur Ashe stadium, the crowd is singing as the song reaches a crescendo. She hits an explosive shot, letting out one of her famous grunts, silencing the audience.

The campaign premieres on Sunday, August 20th during the Teen Choice Awards on the Fox Network.

Maria Sharapova's first grand slam victory came at the age of 17 when she triumphed during an exciting final at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. Soon after Wimbledon, she became the first Russian woman to be ranked No. 1 in the world.

Based near Beaverton, Oregon, NIKE is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.

"I'm excited about this ad because not only is Nike drawing attention to women's tennis, but there's also an empowering message for female athletes that it's okay to be fierce and competitive on the court and still have a feminine side off court," said Sharapova.

"Nike has a long history of celebrating the 'beauty' of sport in many different ways," said Adam Roth, Nike's Director of Advertising. "In Maria's case, true beauty lies in her intensity, her athleticism and her competitive spirit. This campaign has some well-intentioned fun with the idea that it's a big mistake to underestimate Maria, or any other talented, hard-working female athlete."

In the ad, Maria will debut her Nike performance tennis dress for New York. However, the performance dress worn in the ad is just one half of her unique look for the New York slam. In a new twist, for the first time, Maria will unveil a separate, custom made performance dress for her evening matches in New York as well.

The commercial features appearances by tennis Hall of Fame inductee John McEnroe, his brother and captain of the 2004 U.S. Men's Olympic tennis team, Patrick McEnroe, and two-time tennis Olympic gold medalist Mary Joe Fernandez.


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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 9:17 AM | Link to this Post


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