The captain of the Indian cricket team and undoubtedly one of the biggest brands in the country, Virat Kohli will now have to aggressively promote his long-time employer ONGC, as the company has decided to strictly implement its sports policy. ONGC has asked 179 elite sportspersons along with Virat Kohli to display the company’s logo – an important clause of the sports policy – on their clothing and talk about the oil PSU during their public appearances, whenever it is permissible.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the ONGC management held a meeting with their sportspersons and reminded them of their contractual obligation to give priority to official functions. The management also asked these players to focus on the brand promotion push. This came after it was noticed that ONGC athletes rarely sported the company’s logo and preferred private sponsors’ events over official functions.
The company currently hires cricketers Ishant Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, along with Hima Das (athletics), M R Poovamma (athletics), Pankaj Advani (cue sports), Heena Siddhu (shooting) and Ashwini Ponappa (badminton), apart from Kohli, among others.
As per the report, ONGC Group GM (HR) Manoj Bhartwal said that even though their athletes are achieving at the international level, the company is not benefitting from it. “If they are playing for the country, then the country has to be first, but ONGC is doing so much for them. So, whenever they get a chance, like when they give TV bites or give interviews they should talk about ONGC. We held a few meetings with the players in this regard and sensitised them about this issue,” Bhartwal told The Sunday Express.
Clause 25 of the ONGC sports policy states: “The logo of ONGC shall be properly displayed during sports events in which ONGC teams/ players are participating. Further, kits of ONGC personnel shall preferably be designed to display ONGC logo prominently. It shall be the responsibility of Game Coordinators (GCs) to ensure that all ONGC players display ONGC logo prominently at all the times they are on ONGC duty. Ceremonial dress, worn by ONGC sportsperson, and their attire during ONGC duty, including their travel, should have the ONGC logo displayed prominently.”