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Shikhar Dhawan set to bat for Canara Bank

First govt bank to rope in high profile brand ambassador in 5 years

Read more on:    Banks | Psbs | Public Sector | Shikhar Dhawan | Canara Bank
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After a gap of about five years, a bank (PSB) has decided to rope in a cricketer to boost its brand.

Bangalore-based is all set to sign India opener as its brand ambassador. Sources said the tenure of the contract will be either for one year or two years, in which the cricketer will promote the bank for five promotional days including events and shooting. The size of the deal will be Rs 75-80 lakh a year. If the deal is signed for two years, the final amount could be Rs 1.2-1.25 crore, sources added.

In 2005, Bank of Baroda had signed former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid for Rs 4 crore for three years. Anil Khandelwal was the chairman and managing director of the bank then. Dravid was roped in as a brand ambassador at a time when the bank was restructuring its brand to a new generation bank with thrust on retail lending. The deal, which was signed when Dravid took over as captain of the Indian cricket team, had raised eyebrows among law makers. Khandelwal’s successor M D Mallya did not extend the deal once the three-year agreement expired.

Canara Bank had also revamped its brand a couple of years ago with a new logo. In the second quarter, the lender reported a 5.3 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 626 crore due to muted loan growth but reported lower non-performing asset ratio sequentially, which was cheered by the investors. The bank’s gross non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at Rs 7475 crore while net NPA was Rs 6,459 crore as on September 30, 2013 and a provision coverage ratio of 57.77 per cent.

Dhawan is a hard-hitting left hander; he’s had a fairly eventful year in 2013 as he started landing individual endorsements. He is now seen in promotions of Rodeo Drive (luxury brand) with tennis player Sania Mirza. He, however, is yet to break into the big league as industry sources peg Dhawan's endorsement fees between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 1 crore a year.

His peers such as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have five and 10 endorsement deals, respectively. While Kohli charges in the range of Rs 5-6 crore a year per brand, Sharma charges Rs 1.2-1.3 crore a year per brand. Sharma recently signed a Rs 2 crore deal with Adidas for endorsing the brand on his bat. He shares the endorsement responsibilities with Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from all forms of international cricket last year. According to sources close to Dhawan, the batsman now has four or five endorsement deals in his kitty.

Dhawan, according to brand experts, lends himself well to brands that have a rustic aura around them. "If you see, he will do very well in brands that are endorsed by someone like Dhoni. Both have a mass appeal and both are known for their cool composure on the field and their performances. Also, both have a rustic charm around them," says a professional from the brand endorsement world.

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