Birthday Special: Why brands love MS Dhoni

The cricketer has worked with various brands, ranging from consumer durable to automobile, retail and life insurance.

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Published: Jul 7, 2018 8:59 AM  | 5 min read

Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has a list of brand endorsements that would make any celebrity jealous. Over the years, the former captain of the Indian cricket team has worked with various brands, ranging from consumer durable to automobile, retail and life insurance. Counted as one of the most successful captains in the history of India cricket, Dhoni has in his kitty an array of brands across categories.

The legend may have retired from Test cricket, but he is still one of the most influential sports personalities in the world in terms of brand value. In the Forbes ‘Fab 40 2016’ list of the biggest sport brands in the world, Dhoni featured at the 10th spot. The wicket keeper-batsman, who opened his first global cricket academy in UAE last year, is one of the most marketable athletes in the advertising world. 

The former captain endorsed Pepsi for 11 years. His association with PepsiCo started in 2005. ‘Oh yes abhi’ and ‘Change the game’ were some of the popular and biggest campaigns featuring him.

In 2016, Dhoni’s net worth was around $31 million, and brand endorsements comprised a large part of this value. He used to charge between Rs 8 crore and Rs 12 crore for each endorsement. His total annual earnings from brand endorsements were Rs 120 crore to Rs 150 crore at that time.

Three months ago, Mars International Private Limited roped in MSD as the new brand ambassador for their chocolate brand Snickers. Earlier, Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor and Rekha were the face of the brand.

According to Yogesh Tewari, Marketing Director, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, association with 'Captain Cool' MS Dhoni marks an important chapter of the brand’s journey in India.

“The brand ambassador of Snickers has to reflect not only the brand’s ethos, but also its fun and cool personality. And MS Dhoni is a perfect fit from that lens. Not only does his personality complement Snickers, but he also makes an instant connect with today’s millennials, who are our key consumers,” said Tewari.

Tewari feels that Dhoni is a celebrated popular culture personality and having him on board helps build an instant connect with the audiences. Moreover, his cool, easy-going personality and tongue-in-cheek humour, strongly resonates with Snickers’ brand personality.

The two-time Cricket World Cup winning wicket keeper is also the face of Dream’s 11 marketing campaign and brand engagement activities. The brand is the latest addition to his portfolio. The company launched multiple ads with the cricketer before IPL 2018.

Vikrant Mudaliar, Chief Marketing Officer of Dream 11, said that their association with Dhoni is benefiting the brand and has increased their user base.

“Dhoni’s personality resonates perfectly with Dream11’s core values, and his ability to read the game and pick a winning team is also what each of our users aspires to emulate. The response from sports fans was incredible and the campaign ‘Dimaag se Dhoni’ was received very well. We saw an exponential rise in our user base from 2 crore at the start of the season to over 3.8 crore at the end of it,” said Mudaliar.

After the success of the first campaign, the brand launched a second campaign with Dhoni titled ‘Dimaag ki kick’ to capture the attention of football fans in the country as they logged on to Dream11 to deepen their engagement with the sport. Football has always been close to Dhoni’s heart, despite him being a cricketer, and that’s something fans could connect with.

Revealing the reason for choosing Dhoni as the brand ambassador, Mudaliar said, “His personality essays the fact that hard work and determination can take one to unimaginable heights of success. His credibility and achievements lift the spirit of the entire nation, making him an aspirational figure for the youth of today. Every time he steps on the cricket field, he’s baptized by the fire and hunger to achieve. Sports fans can relate to him at every level because of the dedication and commitment he exhibited on his way to the top. The sincerity with which he plays his game reflects in his demeanour off the field as well, and that’s what makes him stand out from the crowd.”

In 2014 alone, Dhoni was the face of 21 brands, which included giants such as Pepsico, Aircel, Reebok, Titan and TVS Motors. He used to charge around Rs 10-12 crore for endorsing each brand. This figure was second to actor Aamir Khan, who used to charge Rs 15 crore for brand endorsements.

On his 37th birthday today, we take a look at his brand journey. We list for you some of the popular ads that made him a big name in the world of advertising.


After associating itself with great cricket personalities such as Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag, GlaxoSmithKline signed MS Dhoni as their brand ambassador for Boost in 2008. The brand pitched itself as a source of energy and the driver of good sports performance with the tagline ‘Boost is the secret of my energy’.


In 2016, Indian mobile handset manufacturer Lava International Limited announced its association with MS Dhoni. Dhoni was the new face of Lava’s multi- channel marketing campaign as well as brand engagement activities. Ever since, we have seen him in various TVCs endorsing the features of Lava smartphones. Through this association, the brand aimed to strengthen its identity as a reliable smartphone company in the market.


The former captain has a long association with the brand. Orient Electric signed Dhoni way back in 2006.  The latest ad of the brand in which Dhoni featured was “No choke, no starter and no flicker”.


In 2008, Dabur India roped in MS Dhoni as the brand ambassador for its flagship healthcare product Dabur Chyawanprash. Around that time, the brand also introduced new packaging for its product. The first campaign was launched in November 2008.

M S Dhoni has also endorsed the brand with Amitabh Bachchan. The duo featured in a campaign, ‘Kaun banaega India ko healthy’, which was an instant hit.

In June 2016, Dhoni became the brand ambassador of Exide Life Insurance. He also became the brand ambassador of Gulf Oil in 2015 and Revital in 2016.

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