With the U.S. Open just days away, rumors flew on Tuesday that tennis superstar Maria Sharapova was looking to temporarily change her name to “Maria Sugarpova” during the tournament to promote her personal line of candy.
Respected tennis writer Neil Harman of the Times of London broke the story this morning, and his article was followed by a flurry of additional press from leading outlets.

Initially, Sharapova’s agent was silent on the matter, but put out a statement this afternoon that the tennis star would not be changing her name due to the travel difficulties that doing so would cause.

Regardless of whether (or most likely not) she ever had the intention of actually changing her name, Sharapova’s PR team definitely aced the outside-the-box publicity stunt. The fact that this silly story has made headlines, generated buzz and is being written about in blogs (including this one) has created a boost in brand awareness for her gummy candies.  Advantage Sugarpova.