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Maria Sharapova Goes Gold Down Under

Bordentown, NJ -– 2008 is an Olympic year and Maria Sharapova already has her mind set on gold. Next week, when the sports world watches the 20 year-old tennis superstar take to the court for her first round match at the Australian Open, she will be debuting, over her shoulder, the first piece from her new Sharapova Gold Collection of bags. Designed by Maria, and produced in partnership with Prince, the Sharapova Gold Collection will unite cutting-edge and top quality design features with stunning and luxurious aesthetics never seen before in a bag collection.

“I absolutely love working with Prince and had the best time taking this collection from initial drawings to final product,” said Sharapova from Melbourne. “First, they are supreme quality tennis bags and totes designed specifically to meet the needs of players. Second, they are gold and who doesn’t love gold? It is always in style and these bags look fantastic when they are over the shoulder or in your hand.”

Aside from being both a Wimbledon and US Open champion and the world’s most recognizable female athlete, Sharapova is also establishing herself as an international fashion icon and respected designer. Her unmatched understanding of player needs and keen fashion sense combined with Prince’s obsession with delivering the most innovative, performance-driven equipment, resulted in a world-class line of bags, available in a six-pack, triple, tote, mini tote and backpack.

“In my opinion, players should head to the court with equipment that not only delivers in terms of quality and design, but also looks great,” said Sharapova. “This collection accomplishes both and I am excited to unveil the first piece when I take the court next week in Melbourne.”

Made primarily of heavy-duty gold nylon, the outside of the bags also feature accents of black in the strap and quilted black patent leather for the Prince logo.

“Maria is the rare combination of someone who pays close attention to the intricacies of performance equipment and also has a trend-setting sense of style and fashion,” said Linda Glassel, Vice President of Marketing and Brand Image for Prince. “She helped usher in the future of racquet design with O3 technology, and always has her finger on the pulse of the fashion world. With this collection, she has once again shown her abilities in both areas and it couldn’t be more perfect that we are launching it during an Olympic year, when gold is on everyone’s mind, including Maria’s.”

The Sharapova Gold Collection will be available internationally beginning in March wherever Prince tennis products are sold with suggested retail prices ranging from $50 - $120US.

For more information on the collection or Maria Sharapova, log onto www.princetennis.com or www.mariasharapova.com.
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