Sachin Tendulkar endorsed health drink Boost after his match-winning performance against England at Old Trafford in 1990. Since then, many brands have been bowled over by the master blaster’s sporting prowess and made him cricket’s first multi-millionaire.
Over last year, a loss of form and a surge in his contemporaries’ popularity saw ‘Brand Sachin’ lose a bit of its shine. But now, with Tendulkar becoming the first man in the history of the game to score 100 centuries after making 114 runs against Bangladesh yesterday, he is set to start a second innings in the advertising field.
It’s not just his fans who are celebrating. It’s also celebration time for the brands he endorses, which are pulling all stops to leverage Sachin Tendulkar’s record 100th century.
“Sachin has been spreading happiness and joy ever since he held the cricket bat in his hand. It is not just his on-field achievements but also his off-the field conduct which makes him a role model for millions,” said Atul Singh, president & CEO, Coca-Cola (India and South West Asia).
For the first time in India, Coke will have him on 300-ml cans. This is a limited-edition product that will sell for Rs 20 a can. Earlier, Coke has had on its products other celebrated sportsmen — footballer Lothar Mathias in Europe, for example.
Adidas is planning an initiative around Sachin’s 100th century. Tushar Goculdas, brand director, Adidas, says: “This is likely to be fixed with Sachin once he is back from the Asia Cup tour.”
In two weeks, Adidas will also release its IPL campaign featuring Sachin. “Adidas’ association with Sachin has been for 15 years and we will continue with it,” Goculdas said. Market experts say, after Boost, Adidas was the second brand Tendulkar signed.
Retail major Future Group, photographic and digital imaging firm Canon and consumer electronics company Toshiba, too, are ready to leverage Sachin’s unprecedented feat and are still working on their strategies.
Tendulkar currently endorses 17 brands. He is the face of Castrol products in the country and promotes brands like Castrol Power1, Activ and GTX. He also endorses appliances major Toshiba, ITC’s Sunfeast, Boost, Canon, Royal Bank of Scotland, Reynolds, Jaypee Cements, Aviva Life Insurance, luxury Swiss watch Audemars Piguet and Pune-based Amit Housing Enterprises, among others.
“The hallmark of Sachin has always been consistency, and, it’s beyond money. There will be buzz around him for some time. Brands associated with him would, obviously, be very pleased,” said Indranil Das Blah, chief operating officer, Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions.
Sports marketing agents feel the milestone will not necessarily result in his fees going upwards. “We have always felt his value has been indexed to his legendary stature and, while this reinforces it, I do not think it impacts valuation,” said Harish Krishnamachar, senior vice-president, World Sport Group, who manages Sachin’s endorsement. The cricketer’s annual endorsement fees are in the range Rs 6-9 crore.
Over two decades in the game, Sachin has not been part of any controversy. His consistency and clean image make him an easily marketable brand name. “In fact, there are a lot of brands that want to sign him. Achieving this feat will only increase the number of brands wanting to be endorsed by him,” said an agent on the condition of anonymity.