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Fila signs Rs 80 mn endorsement deal with Sehwag

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MUMBAI: Italian sports lifestyle brand Fila has appointed ace cricketer Virender Sehwag as its brand ambassador as it plans to increase its footprint across the Indian subcontinent.

Sources say that the three-year deal is valued at Rs 80 million working out to roughly Rs 25 million per year. The payment includes endorsement fee as well as bonuses.

The deal belies fears that the value of cricketers have dwindled following humiliating losses in two back to back overseas series in England and Australia.

Virender Sehwag will be Fila?s brand ambassador across all categories of Footwear, Apparel & Accessories. Fila aims to strengthen their brand recall and further enhance their presence in India with this strategic appointment.

The dashing cricketer will be a part of Fila?s marketing communication strategy across print campaigns, radio ads, television commercials, in store branding and online.

Fila internationally has been associated in the past with various Sports stars like Michael Schumacher, Boris Becker and Bj?rn Borg.

Commenting on the association Fila India CEO Rajiv Bajaj said, ?Cricket is one of the most widely followed sports in India, so when we decided to appoint a Brand Ambassador, a Cricketer was the obvious choice. We chose Virender since he personifies our brands core values and we recognized the great synergy between him and our brand. Virender also holds a World record and has a huge fan following amongst the youth, which is our primary target group.

"We have ambitious growth plans and are sure that our association will take us to greater heights that we aim to achieve. We are confident that Fila will tremendously benefit from this relationship."

Fila currently has a presence in over 1,800 outlets along with 35 exclusive Stores in India across High Streets & Malls. The company plans to cross 100 exclusive stores within the next 2 years.

Sehwag?s endorsements are managed by Professional Management Group, which is co-owned by former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, Sam Balsara of Madison Group, and Noomi Mehta of Selvel Publicity.

PMG had last year signed a five-year deal with Sehwag which included a minimum guarantee of Rs 1 billion valuing the deal at Rs 200 million per year.

The cricketer currently endorses nine brands which includes the likes of adidas, Zandu Balm, Boost, JK Cement, Hero MotoCorp, Royal Challenge, Rasna, Karbonn Mobiles and Nirala.

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