Dinesh Karthik's brand value hits a six

After a wait of almost 14 years, cricketer Dinesh Karthik finally got his moment of glory on Sunday, which is now waiting to be leveraged by brands

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Mar 21, 2018 8:58 AM

Cricketer Dinesh Karthik’s 29 runs off eight balls under extreme pressure during the final match of Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh on Sunday will be written down as one of the best winning moments in the history of Indian cricket. After almost 14 years of beating the odds and persevering, the cricketer has achieved his moment of glory in international cricket. Since Sunday, his social media accounts across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram received a huge boost. Followers in Twitter went up from less than two lakhs to seven lakhs after the match.
Karthik’s tweet on the final moments of the match garnered 25.2K likes and 4,108 retweets. His Facebook and Instagram followers witnessed an 18.8 per cent and 56.3 per cent rise respectively.
Can the famous innings hint finally at an establishment of Brand Dinesh Karthik? 
Brand expert Harish Bijoor is waiting for more such winning moments, “A few more successive career bests, as the ones we have recently seen, and Dinesh Karthik is set to storm the brand endorsement scene. He is quite a package, and there is just no reason as to why he should not be a mass-spectrum brand-endorser in the A league for every category of sport and FMCG alike.”
But the celebrity management firm Kwan, which handles the cricketer, is already flooded with enquiries from a wide array of brands for brand endorsements, appearances and digital appearances on the price points. “The game will change everything for him. Not only did he hit a six but with the calm, composed and collected manner he did it in, brands will now recognise him as a stable choice. The key to capitalise on this is to be consistent,” said Indraneel Das Blah, CEO at Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions. Till now multiple mass brands in FMCG and mobility categories and regional brands in South have approached Kwan for Karthik. According to industry sources a well-known Chinese mobile handset, a regular in cricket endorsement scene, is rumoured to express interest in Karthik too.
But Blah is going to be selective on the brand endorsement strategy though he is very much keen on taking the ambassador route. He shared, “The strategy with him is to not do everything that comes our way. That's the easiest way of killing our brand.” He expressed interest on being part of up-market brands in watch and FMCG categories.
Before the Sunday match, multiple mass brands in innerwear and personal care (cream) category approached him after his appointment as captain of IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders and were looking to close in deals before the tournament.

For Karthik he is content to be associated with anything meanigful, “I think, it's a privilege you achieve by doing well and I will definitely be happy to be associated with anything meaningful that comes my way,” he said.
The cricketer was seen in a couple of digital campaigns last year including Asian Paints with his wife, squash player Deepika Pallikal. Blah pointed out that a lot of brands see them as an attractive couple and want to leverage on that. “You don’t often see that in sports," added Blah.

It’s not easy for a cricketer to make a mark especially when the timing is clashing with a cricket icon like MS Dhoni. Both happened to vie for the same spot of wicketkeeper. Karthik made his debut for India in 2004 “Dinesh struggled in terms of being consistent both on and off the field. We got him few endorsements but then Dhoni happened and it became difficult for him to build a brand," said Blah.

But with his perseverance and never-say-die spirit, Karthik continued to do his job of securing runs. As a result his recent inclusion in the ODI and T20 scene followed by his appointment as KKR captain finally proved his mettle. And the recent T20 match against Bangladesh, as Blah rightly pointed out, was icing on the cake.

Finally can we see the emergence of Brand Dinesh Karthik? Only consistency on field will answer that. Hopefully it will.

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