Brands are on their toes to grab any opportunity to stay relevant and look beyond the much-revered cricket in these digitally-driven times. India has its largest-ever contingent, with 199 athletes representing it in 85 medal events. The country counted on the athletes for some heart-winning performance, and our athletes didn't let us down. No brand didn't waste a second in cheering up with enthusiasm and extending their gratitude to the athletes.
After the victorious feat of Mirabai Chanu in the women's 49kg weightlifting category, brands came up with creative takes to celebrate the victory. Dominos was quickest of them all in responding to one of Mirabai's wishes. It will now treat the champion with free Domino's Pizza for life. Several brands, from nutrition, sports to personal care and beverage, followed the trend. They reached out to Mirabai for endorsements and collaboration. What's more, the bronze-winner has already got a few endorsements from Adidas and Mobil Oil under her belt. While brands like Britannia, Swiggy, VLCC thumps up and Amul lined up to associate with her win. In addition, thumps up, one of the official partners of the Olympic Games worldwide integrated their ad tagline 'Palat De' with Chanu's win across social media platforms.
In the same light, P.V. Sindhu, the first Indian woman to win two medals in Olympics, is also expecting to see an upswing. According to sports marketing experts, she could see her annual brand fee increase to ₹2-3 Crore from ₹1.5-1.8 Crore. Sindhu already has a dozen deals with Bridgestone Tyres, Visa India, Google, Bank of Baroda, and more. P.V. has aced the game with her incredible performances worldwide. She also won a diversified endorsement portfolio. Most brands have signed her up as a brand ambassador, given the sport's mass appeal and her consistent performance.
Recently, Neeraj Chopra, who wrote a new chapter in history books by bagging the first gold medal in athletics in India, is also witnessing a rise in endorsement fees and brand value. We might see a 200% surge in Chopra's brand endorsement fees, reaching the mark of ₹1 Crore, declaring his achievement in the Tokyo Olympics. He has been endorsing Gatorade for the past four years, and now with gold in the bag, his brand value is expected to pierce the sky, and we should see more brands than ever chasing him. Chopra has been seen with various brands like Gillette India, Country Delight Naturals, Mobil India, and more. Now, we might see the golden boy on the big screen soon.
However, the wide gap between cricketers and non-cricket athletes remains noticeable.
For example, the captain of the Indian Cricket team, Virat Kohli, approx. charges around ₹4.5 crores for brand promotions. In contrast, based on their popularity, non-cricket athletes charge between ₹30 lakhs to ₹1.5 crores.
With athletes winning more and more brand endorsement deals, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the fan following for games like badminton, weightlifting, javelin throw, and hockey, for that matter, will likely see exponential growth. Moreover, there will come a time when various sports will have equal footing with cricket shortly.
Note: The author of the article is Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO-iCubesWire