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India, Inc. bets low on Brand Sachin

09-June-2005
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India, Inc. bets low on Brand Sachin

He is worth over Rs 20 crore. But Sachin Tendulkar may be on a sticky wicket with India Inc.

While India's richest sports star managed to sign up a few endorsements in 2004, they were for little known brands. The last high-profile brand to rope in Sachin was Airtel, back in October 2003.

In the current year too, out-of-action Tendulkar has not signed a new endorsement deal in the first six months. His first two endorsements this year are expected to be for a European accessory brand and a firm dealing with children-related services.

In contrast, Rahul Dravid has just signed up with Bank of Baroda and teamed up with Max New York Life just a couple of months ago. Virendra Sehwag too has been fairly busy, signing up with SET Max late last month and with Dabur .

In 2004, Sachin signed up for German mobile phone firm G-Hanz, phone content provider Nazara Tech and a contract on cricket memorabilia.

WorldTel Sports India, the agency which represents Tendulkar, attributed the low form of Brand Sachin to pressures of time. Jeanne-Marie Verghese, director, WorldTel, said: ''He is already endorsing various big brands, follows a heavy cricket schedule and has family requirements.''

All high-profile brands that Tendulkar continues to endorse - such as Pepsi, Britannia, Adidas, Boost, ESPN and TVS - were signed up when he was at its peak.

''Tendulkar is going through a rough patch. Corporates do consider performance while signing up celebrity endorsements,'' admitted Vinita Bangard, VP, celebrity management services, Percept D'Mark.Industry officials, however, maintained that Tendulkar's brand worth has not dried up. His endorsement fee per deal starts upwards of Rs 6.5 crore.

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