Tennis finishes out its season with the US Open. On the ladies' side, the question is "can someone beat Serena?". That is how current women's tennis is, but it was not always like this. It was not like this even early in Serena Williams' career. As another season wraps up the safely controversial, or faux rebellious, articles get written about Serena while unmentionables continue due to political correctness.
The mystery of why Serena Williams does not make as much in endorsement as Maria Sharapova despite on court dominance. Before stepping into this, please read the fear of a dominant black woman article, as it is a riot. The Left loves to use the word or idea of fear as to why people may not like something. Just like many others who watch sports, I enjoy skilled competition. Ratings drop if Serena gets bounced out of a tournament early. People will watch her play. They can also think she is an asshole.
She also has never lost a match because the opponent outplayed her. Listen to her press conferences. She always beats herself. Even when the Belgians Henin and Clijsters were beating her handily, she would not admit they outplayed her. It's goddamn annoying. Her sister is or was the same way, which means maybe its just who they are. The steroids thing is also going to repel humans who notice. The follow up to that is the "OMG she iz soooo beautiful" pundit class repeating that line despite natural repulsion to women in he uncanny muscle valley. Female tennis players admit to balancing body image and success on the court, and wouldn't you know it, Serena Williams does not even touch weights. I can just see this line also being used for Lena Dunham in five years, "Williams, 33, who has appeared on the cover of Vogue, is regarded as symbol of beauty by many women". That statement is factually correct (grammar is off), but hollow in meaning.
Why might Sharapova earn more in endorsement money than Serena and why does Sharapova not rock the roids for an advantage on the court vs. Serena? There is a "gap" of about $5 million between them, and oh darn, the media doesn't like it. First, Sharapova did fail a drug test due to an endurance drug with some back and forth between her and the WTA. Still, roiding up for Sharapova and some of the others in the NY Times article, may not give the payoff they want. Does an additional Grand Slam title make it worth it for Sharapova to play with her health and looks? Will she earn more money? Not really. This is an incentives game, and the incentives are not there.
Second, who are the advertisers using tennis marketing too? Look at the crowds, consider the players, consider who plays at the lower level. High disposable income folks and a predominantly white crowd. Sharapova looks like the leggy, hot Russian girl that showed up at the country club. Serena Williams resembles a linebacker. You are not going to pitch aspirational ads to white women using Serena Williams, but of course you can with the beautiful blonde. You are not going to pitch ads using Serena Williams muscular frame to men as "buy this product and you too can get this woman". Tennis market men are not fantasizing about sex with an NFL cornerback that has breasts.
Who the advertisement is targeting matters more, and that slight gap can be found there. Maybe thirteen years ago when Serena Williams was more womanly in shape you could pitch her in that manner, but not now. The women that the NY Times says consider her a symbol of beauty are not buying the products that advertise to the tennis viewer market. This will just remain another mystery for the mainstream media because they cannot utter the simple truth.