Avon Gets Lucky, Signs Sharapova For New Fragrance

Advantage, Avon. The beauty company says tennis phenom Maria Sharapova is the face of Avon Luck, two new fragrances for men and women. It says the scents are meant to celebrate “life’s good fortunes, amazing events and infinite possibilities,” and that Sharapova, Forbes’ best-paid female athlete in 2013, “perfectly embodies the spirit of having luck on your side.”

The scents are scheduled to launch first in Europe in September, then in North America in October, moving to Asia-Pacific in November. Sold exclusively through Avon’s reps, the direct-sales company has already started a waiting list.

“When we created Avon Luck, we wanted to capture the intoxicating charisma of someone who creates her own luck in life,” says Avon CMO Patricia Perez-Ayala in the press announcement. “As one of the top-ranked tennis players worldwide, and a sophisticated natural beauty, Maria perfectly captures this sense of energy and possibility. She’s the ideal spokesperson for a fragrance that exudes happiness and a feeling of being on top of the world.”

Forbes reports that Sharapova earned $29 million last year, including $23 million from endorsements. In addition to Avon, she also has sponsorship deals with Nike, Evian, Head, Porsche, Samsung, and TAG Heuer. Avon says she is Bing’s most-searched-for athlete of 2013.

Candidly, Avon could use a spritz or two of luck on its wrists. In its most recent quarterly results, the company acknowledged that its 11% decline in revenues to $2.2 billion was a disappointment. The number of active Avon reps, another metric of how well it’s doing, also fell -- down 4%.

In the U.S., fragrance sales dropped 9% for the quarter to $513.2 million. (That follows a drop of 6% for all of the previous fiscal year.)

It’s not alone: IRI Worldwide says that sales of mass fragrances in the U.S. fell 6% across all companies last year. And NPD Group reports that prestige scents, those sold at department stores, were flat last year.

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