Marketer's dream: Genie Bouchard Inc. about to explode

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard celebrates after defeating Slovakia's Jana Cepelova during their Fed Cup...

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard celebrates after defeating Slovakia's Jana Cepelova during their Fed Cup tennis match at the PEPS stadium at Laval University on April 20, 2014. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

Pierre Durocher, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:38 PM ET

After winning $1.6 million for making the Wimbledon final and vaulting to seventh on the WTA's world rankings, two sports marketing experts think Eugenie Bouchard can one day be a bigger marketing force than Maria Sharapova.

Sports marketing gurus Jean Gosselin and Paul Wilson both told QMI Agency that they believe the Westmount, Que., native could become one of the biggest marketing brands on the planet.

“If I was looking for someone to represent my company,” said Wilson, “I would bet on her. She’s like gold right now. If I was her agent, I’d be a very happy person. If she keeps winning, she’ll surpass Maria Sharapova in sponsorship revenue over the next couple of years.”

Bouchard, 20, currently has sponsorship deals with Nike, Rogers, Coca-Cola, Pinty’s Delicious Food, Tourna Grip, Babolat, USANA, and Tennis Canada.

“She has a chance to evolve in what is truly a planetary sport,” said Gosselin, who specializes in corporate communications. “It reminds me of when Jacques Villeneuve won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1997.”

According to Forbes Magazine, Sharapova was the highest earning female athlete in 2013, bringing in $29 million. All but $6 million of her earnings were from sponsorships. Seven of the top 10 richest female athletes of 2013 are WTA players.

“Eugenie has several factors working in her favour,” Gosselin said. “She’s very talented, she’s pretty, she has charisma, and she is fully bilingual. She’s also very good at handling social media.”

Returning to hero's welcome

Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard returned home to Montreal on Sunday to a "heartwarming" number of fans and reporters.

When she walked through the arrivals gate at Montreal-Trudeau airport, a loud cheer came through the crowd. Bouchard was visibly taken aback by the attention, and mouthed thank you to her fans. She then spent the next several minutes signing autographs and granting interviews.

On Saturday, Bouchard, 20, lost in the women's singles final at Wimbledon to Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 6-0.

The Westmount, Que., native said she was happy to be home, and ready to sleep! She told QMI Agency that her plan for the next few weeks is to relax and catch up on some sleep.

Im disappointed to have lost the last match, Bouchard said, but Petra (Kvitova) played really well and I have to give credit where its due. As a whole, Im very happy with the tournament, and Im satisfied with how I played.

For now, Bouchard hopes to take a bit of a break and get ready for the Rogers Cup, which takes place in her hometown August 1-10.

I believe in my tennis-playing abilities and always believe I can win. Theres still almost a whole month before the start of the Rogers Cup, so theres a lot of work to do.

It has been a whirlwind year for Bouchard.

To go along with her first Grand Slam final appearance, she also made the semifinals at the Australian and French Opens. The fourth slam, the U.S. Open, runs from August 25 to September 8.

-With files from Dave Kaufman


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