Mirabai Chanu: The soon-to-be blue-eyed girl of the brand world
Industry watchers discuss whether Chanu’s brand value will shoot up post her win in Olympics
All eyes were on weightlifter Mirabai Chanu as she opened India's medal tally at the Tokyo Olympics. Chanu won a silver medal in weightlifting in the 49-kg category for women on 24 July, the first day of the ongoing global sporting event that has the potential of turning into a gold.
Social media as we know has been abuzz with praises for Chanu’s stunning victory. It will be interesting to see if her win will further soar up her brand image as well.
Jagdeep Kapoor, Chairman and Managing Director, Samsika hints that Mirabai’s confident and cool win will definitely gather a number of brand endorsement offers, along with her perceived value going up. “Mirabai Chanu has made India proud with her Olympic Silver Medal win. Her weightlifting triumph has lifted the weight off the shoulders of a billion Indians, who don’t want to lose but want to win in the world. A pleasant personality, brands who want to project persistent efforts, resilience and a champion mindset, would love to choose her as a brand ambassador,” says Kapoor.
Domino's India was quick to offer free pizzas for life to the athlete, announcing the same on Twitter. Domino's tweet came after Chanu, in one of her interviews after her win, said that she would like to have as many pizzas as it has been days she devoured one.
N. Chandramouli, CEO, TRA observes that an Olympic Silver medal for weightlifting in her category is a very significant achievement and brands will be seeking out to associate with Mirabai Chanu to encash this opportunity. “Depending on how she continues to build and maintain her profile in the media and in her performance, her perceived value to consumers and to the brand will increase. Sports is all about performance and it is important that Mirabai does not get defocused from her sport and continues to perform. Such times can be heady for a first-time achiever with so many brands in pursuit. Equanimity and composure in such situations are the only way to long-term success,” Chandramouli asserts.
Amul, known for its delightful topical campaigns, also came up with a topical message that said, "Worth her weight in silver! Amul, Mira, tera, humara favourite snack."
Samit Sinha, Managing Partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, opined, “Does the name Karnam Malleswari ring a bell? The sad truth is that her name will not be familiar to many Indians, despite her having won the very first ever medal by an Indian woman in an individual Olympic event. That was in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics, where she won a bronze in weightlifting. That was an amazing feat, as is the silver won by Mirabhai Chanu less than a week ago. I say amazing, because, Indian sportspeople defy all odds to be able to represent the country that does so little in return for them in terms of identifying, grooming, training, or funding, especially when compared with other nations."
"In this country, only cricketers become gods overnight, while all other sports languish for lack of enough money. Fortunately, in recent times, sportspeople from some other relatively more glamourous sports, like Sania Mirza and Leander Paes in tennis, and Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu in badminton have received a degree of recognition and some interest from brands for endorsements. To a lesser extent, we have a Mary Kom and a Sakshi Malik, who have also become somewhat known amongst the general population. But what about those like Vijay Kumar, Gagan Narang, or Yogeshwar Dutt, all Olympic medal winners for India? How quickly were they forgotten? Vijender Singh and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore have entered politics to remain in the public eye and Sushil Kumar, India’s only Olympian to have won two medals on separate occasions, is currently in the news for all the wrong reasons. So, while there is every reason for all Indians to bow their collective heads in respect to Mirabhai Chanu for bringing glory to her country, I wish I was able to say that she will ever be able to convert this glory to serious money through brand associations,” he added.
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