Brands which are normally risk averse may want to sign up cricketers who have become stars overnight to make the best use of the immediate opportunity
Cricketers Rishabh Pant, Shubham Gill, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar are likely to draw advertisers’ interest after playing a crucial role in India’s gallant and unexpected win at the fourth India-Australia test match at the Gabba in Brisbane, helping India clinch the series.
Pant has entered into a multi-year association with JSW Sports. The company will manage all commercial interests and marketing rights of the 23-year-old cricketer. Gill is being represented by Cornerstone Sports which also manages Virat Kohli.
Pant, who signed a three-year deal with JSW Steel in 2020, has endorsed Dream 11 and Himalaya Men Face Care Range in the past. Talent management agencies that represent these cricketers are already scouting for deals with healthcare, fitness, and digital-first brands, industry watchers say.
According to industry estimates, athletes who are just starting out on their endorsement journey can charge Rs 10-20 lakh per brand. In comparison, cricketers such as Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul or Hardik Pandya earn about Rs 1 crore per endorsement.
Brands which are normally risk averse may want to sign up cricketers who have become stars overnight to make the best use of the immediate opportunity. “However, the challenge for these cricketers to sign on A-league brands is the lack of a track record. Athletes who perform consistently for two to three seasons typically enjoy the trust of brands,” points out Aviral Jain, co-head and MD, global restructuring advisory, Duff & Phelps.
Even if leading brands do not engage these players, brands that have smaller budgets can leverage them for short-term projects. “Brands want to watch out if these cricketers are included in the line-up in forthcoming matches. In the meantime, brands that have a limited budget and cannot hire category A players can leverage these new faces to drive brand recognition,” says Neel Gogia, co-founder, IPLIX Media, an influencer marketing agency. He further adds that new talent has a greater chance to earn endorsement fees from social media influencer campaigns which have short deal durations than full-fledged long-term endorsement deals.
During IPL 2020, Dream 11 ran a campaign which included a host of cricketers such as MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya. Flipkart too uses several celebrities across the spectrum for its annual Big Billion Days sale campaigns. “Using a young athlete in combination with an established sports star de-risks the brand to an extent. Brands that are seeking exponential growth in the near future could use these breakout stars from the Gabba test collectively,” says Jain.
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