Dhoni and Jadeja's brand value soars as India go down fighting in World Cup
Experts say while Dhoni will continue to remain brands’ favourite, marketers will also look at Ravindra Jadeja for his ‘never say die attitude'
Team India suffered an unexpected defeat and a heart-breaking exit from the ICC World Cup on Wednesday, losing to New Zealand by 18 runs. M S Dhoni's run out in the penultimate over proved crucial in the loss. The shocker came after a 100-run partnership between him and Ravindra Jadeja for the seventh wicket had given India some hope of revival following the stunning collapse of the top-order.
We spoke to brand experts to find out what impact will Dhoni's performance on Wednesday have on his brand value.
Jagdeep Kapoor, brand expert and CMD of Samsika Marketing Consultants, says “Brand Dhoni was great, is great, and will remain great.” “His strategic skills, his abilities, his patience and his performance make him a winner, a leader and a champion. Brands would continue to love to have him as their ambassador,” believes Kapoor.
Kapoor also lauded Jadeja’s performance, saying brands can also invest in someone like him. “He is a fighter, a great batsman, a great fielder, a great bowler and a great all-rounder. Brands will always want to use him for his ‘never say die attitude’,” he feels.
According to Dimple Gupta, Director, Strategic Brand Consultant, the World Cup dream has crashed for India and has brought down the big stars who had been getting all the adulation for the past five weeks. “Ultimately, perhaps, Jadeja and the history he created will be remembered for a long time. Rohit and Virat need to figure out what went wrong. People had high hopes from Dhoni as well, and he almost managed to live up to them. A couple of more overs and perhaps the end result would have been different,” says Gupta.
“But the big question is: are Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah the new poster boys? Perhaps yes. Brands should look at signing them on to communicate resilience, cool composure and for shining through in the toughest situations. Maybe it’s time to send Manyavar with Mohey for a short vacation,” Gupta remarks.
A senior industry name, however, thinks Dhoni should finally announce his retirement from cricket. “I think it’s time for Dhoni to retire. The age factor was the major reason for his run out in the match. Fitness level plays a major role in any sport. Going forward, brands will take notice of this and probably would opt for someone who is younger and fitter like Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah.”
And Dhoni's Wednesday's performance is probably one of the reasosn why he has been a favourite of brands. The former captain has a long list of brand endorsements that would make any celebrity jealous. Over the years, he 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 Indian 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.
In 2016, Dhoni’s net worth was said to be around $31 million, and brand endorsements comprised a large part of this value. He reportedly used to charge between Rs 8 crore and Rs 12 crore for each endorsement. His total annual earnings from brand endorsements were reported as Rs 120 crore to Rs 150 crore at that time.
He has endorsed brands such as Snickers, Dream 11, Samsung, Boost, Lava, Orient and Dabur to name a few. Dhoni had 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.
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