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Viru hits a sixer, emerges as new poster boy

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Viru hits a sixer, emerges as new poster boy

'Captain-in-waiting' Virender Sehwag has become the crown prince to take over from Sachin Tendulkar as the king of brand endorsements. With Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid on the wrong side of 30, Sehwag has emerged as the most preferred cricket personality for brand endorsements among India, Inc.

Sehwag currently endorses nine brands including Coca-Cola, Adidas, Samsung, Britannia, Dabur, GSK-Boost, Johnson & Johnson, Mayur Suitings and Max channel. As per market estimates, he charges Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore per year for one brand which puts him in the same range as Dravid. But with age on his side and his phenomenal run with the bat, Sehwag certainly has the edge over Dravid among corporates looking for long-term deals.

A spokesperson of Collage Sports Management which has a contract to manage Sehwag's endorsement deals till 2008 says, "Sehwag is a simple man who likes to concentrate on his game and spend time with his family. So we don't look at more than 10-12 brands for him in a year."

Though Sehwag is yet to catch up with Tendulkar who commands anywhere between Rs 3 crore and Rs 6 crore per brand but Tendulkar is not signing many fresh deals. Perhaps his not so impressive performance has made India, Inc shy away from him. With World Cup 2007 approaching, the price of Sehwag is expected to go up as more corporates are going to opt for leveraging him for pushing their brands in the market.

With the onset of cricket season, Sehwag is going to be seen in more ads. "We are negotiating with brands from categories such as watch, financial services to two wheelers, cars, etc for Sehwag, With his phenomenal run, we even look at brand's paying additional performance-based incentive for Sehwag," informs Collage's spokesperson.

A Delhi-based senior media planner says, "In many ways he is like Tendulkar. Sehwag enjoys a clean, simple and honest image in the public. His power play with the bat makes his personality fit with any brand which embodies aggression, confidence, leadership, challenge, rustic and dynamism."

Talking of Sehwag's fit with Max channel brand (the latest brand in Sehwag's kitty), Kunal Dasgupta, CEO of SET India, reveals, "Virender Sehwag is the most dynamic cricketer in India today. Sehwag's passion, drive and energy, and his ability to keep people enthralled and entertained, are truly reflective of the passion and 'Deewanapan' that Max stands for."


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