It’s become clear how important tennis star Maria Sharapova has been to sun protection products company Supergoop a little over a year after she came on as an investor.
Sharapova is heading up a new campaign called Project Black Dot that aims to educate consumers on skin cancer and the benefits of wearing sunscreen daily.
The Texas-based company makes sunscreens, eye creams and other products. Sharapova invested an undisclosed amount in Supergoop last year and has since helped educate people on the havoc the sun can have on unprotected skin.
The first iteration of the campaign, called Project Permission, calls on parents to sign permission slips that would allow their children to bring sunscreen to school. It’s currently considered an over-the-counter drug and prohibited on school campuses in most states.
“If we can get the awareness that your kid cannot bring sunscreen to school, it’s a pretty big statement,” Sharapova told WWD. “I think not many parents actually realize that and if you think about that it’s quite a shocking fact and we really hope to change that.”
Wearing sunscreen daily has been a habit for the athlete since she was young, training in the sun sometimes six hours a day in Florida.
“A few years ago, before I even met [Supergoop chief executive officer] Holly [Thaggard], I was a fan of Supergoop. I found it at a Sephora store,” Sharapova said. “I’ve tried so many different sunscreens and this was one that didn’t burn my eyes.”
Sharapova’s involvement in the company has been a boon for the brand.
“We weren’t looking at the time for a spokesperson for our brand and when Maria reached out, what we saw was it gave us the opportunity to put a big megaphone to this message and reach millions more people and, of course, influence our youth as well,” Thaggard said.
Sharapova’s input as a heavy user of sunscreen has also been helpful in the development process, Thaggard added.
Supergoop is sold in Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and Nordstrom, among other retailers.