Prithvi Shaw: Will more brands bet on the man of the moment?

Prithvi Shaw became the youngest Indian to hit a century in a Test debut against the West Indies in Rajkot on October 4, taking the nation by storm

by Misbaah Mansuri
Published - Oct 9, 2018 9:02 AM Updated: Oct 9, 2018 9:02 AM
Prithvi Shaw

When the 18-year-old cricketer Prithvi Shaw became the youngest Indian to hit a century in a Test debut against the West Indies in Rajkot on October 4, he took the nation by storm. Twitter went gaga after the news broke- after-all Shaw’s debut century is the third quickest, after fellow Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan’s century off 85 balls against Australia and West Indies’ Dwayne Smith who scored it off 93 balls.

Shaw is managed by India’s leading sports marketing firm, Baseline Ventures. Even before the squad left for New Zealand and his recent stint, Shaw had two brands backing him, Protinex (Danone India) and MRF Tyres. In the past, MRF had signed similar deals with Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, and Steve Waugh.

So could the prodigy become the next Virat Kohli of the ad-world? After all, he is the man of the moment. Will his brand value shoot up? Ramakrishnan R, Founder, Baseline Ventures says that brands could be a part of his growth story. “Prithvi has always been a hope and promise ever since he was 14. When we work with brands to sign athletes, we always tell them to be a part of his or her growth story. This establishes an emotional connection and is more long-term with him being more loyal to them. The same was with Sindhu when we signed her back in 2013. Shaw had two brands backing him even before his recent stint which speaks for itself. If he performs consistently, brands will bet on him.”

Indranil Das Blah, Founding Partner and Co-CEO Kwan Entertainment, opines that Shaw's brand value will take time to increase. “He will need to be consistent and regularly perform on the international level. It is when he does well in tough conditions like our next series in Australia, that his brand can truly evolve. He’s likable and relatable, and brands should use those attributes when signing him on,” he says. Blah shares that mass brands which use cricket as a medium to reach out to smaller towns and cities will be the brands which might rope him in.

Brand expert Gaurav Gulati is optimistic that the sports star’s brand value is definitely going to shoot up. “Prithvi Shaw is the most trending personal brand at the moment. Brands have always experienced it; an athlete's image creates a great connection between a brand and consumer and this why contemporary brands consider this key to success. For marketers, digital trending and buzz have a financial value, and it becomes more precious when it happens organically. Keeping this in mind, undoubtedly Shaw's brand value is going to shoot up,” asserts Gulati.

Another point to be noted is that Shaw was one of the big earners of the IPL auction — he was signed by Delhi for Rs 1.2 crore, which was six-times his base price of Rs 20 lakh. Says Harish Bijoor, Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, “Prithvi Shah is a sensation today. The next three matches will define his brand presence. If this is seen to be a sensation that has arrived, true and blue, his brand price is going to sky-rocket for sure. In the world of brands in India, too many brands are chasing too few cricketers. The birth of a new star is always welcome.”

Kanthi D Suresh of Power Sportz, states that from a brand enhancement point of view, Prithvi Shah would be forced to grow faster, with his current success and the promising potential. “I think particularly in a career like sports, keeping focus is of paramount significance. Ignoring the noise and focusing on work would be a better option to adopt, considering the tenure that lies ahead for him,” shares Suresh.

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