Archive for August 21, 2007

Anna, Michelle, now Dream Girl

Anna K has long retired comfortably from tennis without winning a single title.  Her career was so short, I didn’t even have a chance to practice her last name, Kournikova.  When I goggle her on the net, all I have to do was type in Anna K.  I got my girl.  There is also a Michelle, with so much fanfare and firework, turned out the prodigy can’t even make it in the lady’s tour, LPGA.  They all had huge endorsement contracts, with real money, not just some free clothing and equipments.  I’m not privy to their contracts, but wondered do the advertisers put in some clause for protection, like you’ll get this level of $$$ only after you won X among of tourneys or reach certain ranking?  It’s safe to say that their good looks have gotten them lucrative deals, made the advertisers being more than generous.  (On this topic, I also often wondered, the look is part of you, then why when people taking that into consideration .. deemed shallow?)

Anyway, Tony called last night, asking donation on behave of Yuan Meng, saying she need financial help, that they are sleeping on the floor at the hotel, etc.  (Doesn’t US hotels all equipped with either king size or 2 twins???  Does it cost less if you forgo bed?)  According to Tony, the top 50 ranked players could make a comfortable living (it’s crucial that you’re able to remain at that level week in and week out), within 100 is no.  Yuan’s highest rank was 92, and brief.  He also mentioned that there are few tourneys held in Asia, mostly in US and Europe, hence it’s very expensive (travel expenses, jet-lag – earlier arrivals..) for the Chinese to break into the top rank.  For their European peers, all they have to do was get into a car and drive there. Also marketing in China is not as mature as in the USA.  Could all those obstacles be over come should the athlete has the talent, mental toughness plus gorgeous look, plus a savvy manager? 
Lisa Raymond has turned pro in 1993, over the years, she has made $7m in prize money.  I like her, but not many people know who she is, even she briefly held the #1 ranking back in 2000.  Doubtfully she signed any lucrative endorsement deals that offered to Anna and Michelle.  In any event, I’ll sponsor Yuan, questions aside.

.. .. Oh, their cute names.  Yuan Meng, Yan Zi .. etc. Tony laughed.
“Most of them changed their names once you gain a little fame, you pick a new name. A common practice in China.”  Just learned one more thing.  He went on to say – actually I wondered myself – “most those athletes are from poor and under-educated families .. the rich kids don’t want, don’t have to sweat.”

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