We knew this would be coming. Gatorade announced that it has signed tennis star Maria Sharapova. It's a good deal for Gatorade because they really haven't had a woman star since Mia Hamm and Sharapova can really help them in countries where Gatorade isn't as strong as it is in the US. Sharapova is big in Europe and Asia, areas where Gatorade needs her help.
Sharapova will star in a Gatorade ad that will launch in early 2007 and she'll immediately start appearing on packaging in Italy and Australia.
At nearly $1 million a year, Sharapova will be one of Gatorade's highest earning endorsers. It will be interesting to see how much Gatorade cares about men's tennis players. J. Darius Bikoff, founder of Glaceau's VitaminWater, told CNBC that the next guy he wants to see endorsing the product is men's No. 1 Roger Federer.