The show will go on for Brand Tendulkar for many more years even after the curtains come down on his cricketing career on November 18, said advertising, marketing and brand pundits on the day the Master Blaster announced his decision to retire from cricket.
Tendulkar made his debut against Pakistan in 1989 and his journey with Indian brands started almost immediately, picking up the first few endorsement deals in 1990 for health supplement Boost and Band-Aid from Johnson & Johnson. Tendulkar may play his last match on the fifth day of his 200th Test match in Mumbai.
Across 24 years, Tendulkar is estimated to have endorsed over 50 brands including Boost, Pepsi, MRF, Adidas, Britannia, Fiat Palio, Airtel, Sanyo BPL and Coca-Cola with accumulated endorsement fees over Rs 500 crore. His prominent business deals included the Rs 30-crore plus with WorldTel in 1995 which was renewed in 2001 with more than double the price tag of Rs 80 crore. In 2006, Tendulkar inked a contract with advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi’s Iconix which was reportedly valued at Rs 180 crore for three years.
World Sports Group (WSG) has been managing Tendulkar’s brand endorsements since 2006, when his contract with WorldTel ended.
For ad-film maker Prahlad Kakkar, Tendulkar is an icon whose value cannot be measured in currency. “Like we do not call Mahatma Gandhi a brand, Tendulkar for us is an icon. He is much ahead of being a brand. He is an embodiment of values which will continue to inspire young and old for many years to come.” Kakkar directed Sachin in Pepsi commercials.
KV Sridhar, chief creative officer at Leo Burnett South Asia said that Tendulkar was timeless and had moved well beyond cricket. “His price may come down but his value won’t. If you have a timeless classic brand, Tendulkar would be the right person to endorse it. He is unblemished by controversies.” Sridhar pointed out that actor Aamir Khan did only one movie a year. Yet Khan’s brand value hadn’t plummeted. Titan continues to be endorsed by him. “But if