In a country where cricket is considered to be a religion it is obvious to see cricketers endorsing brands. Over the years cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli have been seen in numerous ads endorsing a plethora of products.
However, in recent times, the story in the Indian advertising industry seems to have changed a bit. Other sports personalities like Sania Mirza, Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal have now entered the glitzy world of brand endorsements.
Though Indian footballers have not yet been given recognition with brand endorsements in the country, international footballers enjoy the spotlight with brands like Nike and Adidas using famous personalities through social media and other mediums of advertising.
Lionel Messi is one footballer who has stood out and gained a reputation for himself as a brand endorser in India after Tata Motors got him on board by signing a two year contract at an undisclosed amount. It is not the first time that an International personality has been promoting an Indian brand with celebrities like Hugh Jackman endorsing Micromax.
The results were phenomenal after the introduction of Lionel Messi as Tata Motors started to gain its lost glory with a series of new products, innovative sales programmes and customer reach initiatives. It comes as no surprise why Lionel Messi then, occupies the major share of endorsements during the Euro 2016 commercials on Sony Six and Sony ESPN.
By holding 26 percent of the total share of celebrity brand endorsements, Lionel Messi tops the list of celebrities endorsing brands during UEFA EURO 2016, leaving behind Sachin Tendulkar and M.S. Dhoni while Virat Kohli does not even feature in the list provided by the TAM Sports survey.
|Lionel Andrés Messi 
|Sachin Tendulkar 
|Kapil Sharma 
|Sushant Singh Rajput 
|Namit Das 
|Arjun Rampal 
|Ranveer Singh 
|Alia Bhatt 
|Prateik Babbar 
|M S Dhoni 
Source - TAM Sports - the Sports Sponsorship ROI Measurement Division of TAM Media Research.
According to the list provided by TAM Sports, the list of celebrities endorsing brands involves three sports personalities which include Lionel Messi, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni. All the other endorsers came from Bollywood or a television background.
Lionel Messi in general holds a greater percentage of commercial time on Indian television because of Tata Motors’ fierce marketing campaign for Tata Tiago but during Euro 2016 Tata Tiago as a brand holds just 3 percent of the brand share endorsed while this list is led by Hero Motocorp (22 percent)
M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli have always been the go-to sports personalities for endorsing brands while a survey published in May by British magazine ‘SportsPro’ it was revealed that Virat Kohli is the third most marketable sportsperson in the world ahead of Lionel Messi. NBA’s Stephen Curry and Juventus’ French international Paul Pogba led the list ahead of Virat Kohli.
M.S Dhoni, on the other hand, was placed in the 23rd spot by Forbes as the highest paid athletes in 2015 with 17 brands and $31 million in earnings from endorsements.
The star power of both these batsmen put together may have not been the kind of impact that advertisers decided to go along with during the UEFA Euro 2016. With the brands catering to the football loving audience, it could be an obvious reason as to why Lionel Messi holds 26 percent of the total share of celebrity brand endorsements while Dhoni stays low in the order and Virat Kohli doesn’t make the cut.