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Victorious Dhoni to hit endorsement jackpot

A World Cup victory on Saturday is likely to double MS Dhoni’s endorsement value to Rs 14 crore per deal, putting him well ahead of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who commands Rs 4-5 crore per endorsement, says the agency that manages the Indian cricket team captain’s endorsements.
Dhoni now charges Rs 2 crore a day to endorse a brand, which use him for three days a year for Rs 6 crore. One factor that boosts Dhoni’s brand value is the strategy to restrict his exposure.
“Dhoni represents 19 brands and throughout the World Cup we have been receiving endless queries from different brands in new spaces who are interested in hiring the cricket star after the tournament. But representing too many brands will dilute his brand image. His price tag will be the differentiator here,” said Pratik Sen, director of Mindscape Maestros, the agency that handles his endorsements.

Brands represented by Dhoni include Aircel, PepsiCo, Maxx Mobile, Sony India, Reebok, Amrapali and Future group.
In terms of brand value, Dhoni, who lifted the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, is very popular among masses. “Today, if we look at Kapil Dev, the only captain to bring home the World Cup in 1983, his status is that of a legend. So, one can very well understand what would it be like if he brings another World Cup home,” he said.
Moreover, to accommodate new brands, the agency may not renew a few deals. “A few deals signed previously which are just getting over will not be renewed as a policy. In their place, we will be looking at new categories and brands,” said Sen.
Dhoni is likely to endorse an automobile and a financial services brand in the coming days. “So far he was not representing any four-wheeler brand, which he will be doing from now on and the financial services brand that he was representing is going this year, and we may get a new brand in the same space for him,” added Sen, without naming them.
Dhoni is expected to sign endorsement contracts for 2-3 years, instead of yearly deals. Even if India fails to lift the World Cup, brand experts say Dhoni's value may not take much of a beating.
“If India wins the tournament, the brand value of the skipper will skyrocket, but if we lose, then there won’t be any serious damage to it. Br­and Dhoni has already reac­hed a height; if not leapfrogging from there, it won’t co­me down either,” said Indra­nil Das Blah, vice-president of Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions.

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