Goafest 2018: The way I was asked to pose with a tennis racquet has changed - Sania Mirza

The dynamic tennis player talks about being a part of India's evolving sports marketing industry and how she fought gender woes to her way to the top

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 12:57 PM

The dynamic glamorous career of Indian tennis player Sania Mirza has witnessed the shaping of sports marketing with the emergence of social media. The athlete has been very much a part of it. She even believes that this industry has become far more professional which is a good news for athletes as it will only help them further. At the 13th edition of Goafest 2018 Mirza mentioned, “I had the fortune/misfortune to grow up with sports marketing. Social media has become really big in the last few years. So I have seen that change and been a part of it. And, I am sure it has helped other athletes as well.”

Mirza, post her talk at a press meet, explained how the attitude of sports market industry has evolved over the years. She said, “The way I was asked to pose with the tennis racquet has changed. Earlier I was asked to swing the racquet in the air with the feeling that I have won Wimbledon. That’s not going to happen. But now that has evolved as they expect more realistic things. They understand the achievements a lot more today and try not to replay them.”

When asked about an ad which she enjoyed shooting Mirza recalled the Sprite campaign. She added, “I really enjoyed it because it’s one of my first brands where I wasn’t really acting. The campaign was all about your mind. I was 18 back then and it goes with my attitude.”

The ace tennis player on the third day of Goafest 2018 spoke about how she battled gender bias right from the onset of her career both in the society and industry and the social challenges of women athletes. But in the midst of that the country saw the emergence of talented female sportsmen like ace badminton players Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu and boxer Mary Kom in a rapid pace, Mirza mentioned.

Mirza mentioned that this struggle is common worldwide. She talked about how Serena Williams is considered the world's best female tennis player whereas Roger Federer is looked upon as the greatest tennis player in the world. "The misconception is that it only happens in this part of the world. This is a constant struggle for women."

She highlighted the fact that sports leads to overall development of personality and teaches one life skills. In addition to helping one become a team player, it helps an individual deal with wins and losses.
She also mentioned that we as a nation should move from being a cricketing nation to a sporting nation.

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