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Rohit Sharma hits the ball out of park with 22 brands

Cricketer Rohit Sharma’s brand value shot up after this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England where he scored five centuries to emerge the highest run scorer of the tournament, and now he trails only Indian captain Virat Kohli and former skipper MS Dhoni among cricket celebrities.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 03.15 PM IST
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MUMBAI: Rohit Sharma is carrying his fine form in international cricket into the world of endorsements, striking deals as effortlessly as he hits the ball out of the park these days.

India’s new test opener and captain of IPL franchise Mumbai Indians has signed up for 10 new brands so far this fiscal at about 55% higher rates than earlier, sports marketing experts said. At his current run rate, the 32-year-old Mumbaikar is expected to earn Rs 73-75 crore from the total 22 brands he endorses, they said.

Sharma’s brand value shot up after this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England where he scored five centuries to emerge the highest run scorer of the tournament, and now he trails only Indian captain Virat Kohli and former skipper MS Dhoni among cricket celebrities.

“The brand Rohit Sharma has seamlessly evolved over the last few years and has created a niche market for itself,” said Nikhil Bardia, head of sponsorship sales at IMG-Reliance that has been managing Sharma’s commercial deals for four years now. “His onfield performance has rapidly advanced and complimented to our off-field strategy, offering a very exciting option for brands.”

Sharma is now believed to be charging around Rs 1 crore a day with a minimum guarantee of two days a year deal.

Kohli, the highest paid cricketer, charges almost 3-4 times that of Sharma and endorses around the same number of brands, industry insiders said.

Sharma endorses a number of international brands including Hublot, Adidas, Sharp, Sports Kingdom, Proatar, Trusox and New Era. Soon he will also be the face of a popular international football league in India, Bardia said, adding that IMG-Reliance is “very positive” about making multiple brand partnership announcements involving Sharma “in the near future”.

Indian brands Sharma endorses include Relispray, Rasna, Dream 11, Aristocrat, Highlander and AMFI. Last year, tyre manufacturer CEAT extended a bat deal with him for three years.

What makes Sharma a darling of brands is his involvement, said Sanil Sachar, co-owner of global sports brand Trusox.

“When I had my first conversation with Rohit, it was more of getting a feedback from him as he has been a Trusox user for a long time. It was not to sign him as brand ambassador,” he said. “The conversation was very interesting and he spoke about his experience and vision. That’s when we decided to enter in a long-term partnership with Rohit.”

According to Sachar, Sharma “stands for the product, can vouch for it, and has an influential power”.

Sandeep Goyal, chairman of Mogae Media and a brand expert, however, said Sharma needs to work on his likability factor.

While Sharma scores highly on trustworthiness and being respected, he is low on his likeability as he doesn’t smile much, said Goyal who has done PhD on human brands. “So, if the brand is young, friendly and fun, Rohit would be a difficult fit,” he said. “He is shooting right now for Rasna and I am waiting to see how they will handle him creatively to make him charming and affable.”

Goyal said Sharma is good for ‘performance’ products as he is a bit serious. “He can be good for tech products, too, as those need reliability and dependability as key attributes,” he said. “In our Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) study currently underway, his‘emulatability’ score is lukewarm. So, when we ask respondents if they would want to be like him or want their son to be like him, the answer, unfortunately, is a maybe.”
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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