Brand Sachin looking at life after cricket

Mumbai, Jan 19 | Updated: Jan 20 2007, 05:48am hrs
Hes Team Indias vice-captain with a possibility of being elevated to captain but Sachin Tendulkars brand managers are already planning ahead for life after cricket.

Over the last year or so, we have tried to ensure that the associations hes getting into will last beyond his playing days, says Harish Krishnamachar, head of Iconix, the talent management agency of Saatchi & Saatchi.

Tendulkar signed up with the new agency last year in a deal pegged at around Rs 180 crore. According to industry estimates, he still commands anything between Rs 5 crore and Rs 7 crore per endorsementthe highest for any cricketer.

The aim also is to see that the batting legends portfolio has a more mature business orientation. Hes grown older, so should his brand associations. The two deals Tendulkar signed last yearwith ITC and Canonare cases in point.

We want to double our turnover from Rs 400 crore to Rs 800 crore in three years. We have signed on Tendulkar for the same period, until 2009, because he fits in well with our growth plans. He has mass appeal, is credible and has a leadership quality, says Alok Bharadwaj, VP, Canon India.

Theres also another plan up his brand managers sleeve: ensure that Brand Sachin goes truly international. Especially among the Indian Diaspora and in countries like Australia, which is sport-crazy and strong on memorabilia. For example, when Tendulkar scored his 35th Test century a world record a limited edition SRT 35 cricket bat was released in Australia.

This is the obvious way to gooverseas, agrees Vinita Bangard, VP, Percept DMark, which handles former Indian captain Sourav Gangulys endorsements.