Will Brand Sachin take a beating?

Sachin Tendulkar has had his way with the BCCI after all. His legions of fans and his family will be able to watch the Master Blaster bat one last time on his home ground as he plays his 200th and final match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium next month.


While this is a small compensation for millions of cricket-crazy Indians who look up to him as almost God, one might argue that they can continue to watch him on television, post retirement, as the face of the many brands he endorses. And, others might question if advertisers will continue to cough up astronomical sums to have Sachin advertise their brands even after he retires from all form of international cricket.

Watch the video: Boost pays tribute to Sachin's 23 years of stamina!

GroupM national director of sports and live events Vinit Karnik feels Sachin’s retirement will make no difference to his brand value. “Sachin appeals emotionally to at least four generations if not more. These are the people who have grown up watching him play and do not mind more of him. Post retirement, if he is seen endorsing a brand, these people would love ‘catching up’ on him, even if it is in the ‘brand’ space,” he says.

Harish Bijoor feels post retirement Sachin's brand value will diminish

On the same thoughts, CAA Kwan's COO Indranil Das Blah, thinks that though there will be a decrease in number of brands he endorses, his brand value won’t get affected. “Brands will continue to associate with him, especially the ones with older target audience. Post retirement, they will be known for stability, loyalty etc.”

Having said that he adds that there can be a marginal decrease, around 10-15 per cent, on the brand value. However, this will and shouldn’t impact the price he charges for endorsing a brand.

Brand consultant Harish Bijoor says: “Sachin’s retirement means a setback to Sachin’s brand endorsement money value for sure. Sport stars are always evaluated on the basis of the last three matches they have played. Add to that the heritage value of the bat that has been wielded.

 Despite it all and despite Sachin being the God of Cricket, endorsement money is bound to go just one way… south.”

Indranil Das Blah feels that though there will be a decrease in number of brands he endorses but his brand value won't get affected

Whichever direction Sachin’s brand endorsements may be headed, most of the industry agrees that it doesn’t get any better than the cricketing legend’s current brand value. "Statistically speaking, with earnings in the range of $18 million, solely from endorsements across categories, even at the age of 40, he is ranked 51 on the Forbes World’s Highest Paid Athletes List for 2013. This places him ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba, Serena Williams, Neymar, Sebastian Vettel, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Steven Gerrard - all of whom are younger than him," emphasises Karnik.

Independent communication consultant Ganapathy Viswanathan, says: “Boost, the beverage drink, is one of the early brands that he endorsed which was followed by several other brands as he grew popular. One of his longest associations has been with MRF Tyres. Sachin almost had a 10-year long relationship with MRF, which proves the trust the brand reposed in him. Besides, there are several other brands he has endorsed that just went well with his personality and fit the brand well.”

Ganapathy Viswanathan points out that after Boost he endorsed several other brands as he grew popular that sells Sachin Tendulkar’s memorabilia, informs that post his retirement announcement, the sale of Sachin merchandise and personally autographed products has increased significantly. “Sachin autographed products are selling like hotcakes. A personally signed cap by Sachin which costs Rs 7,500 provides a great investment opportunity for avid collectors and lovers of the game. Besides, Sachin branded T-shirts which starts from Rs 699 onwards are selling very fast,” adds a spokesperson from the portal.

The overall view is a brand ambassador must fit the bill as he/she is the best way to put a human face to a product or service. Hence, brands must be careful about choosing their ambassadors rather than just going for famous faces to advertise their products. For instance, Virat Kohli is the hottest name right now and most brands want to cash in on him, feel many.

In Sachin’s case, brands have just about a month to cash in on the phenomenon. Only time will tell which brands choose to stay in action and which try to get away from the clutter...

Brands endornsed

Boost (1990–present)

Fiat Palio (2001–03)

G-Hanz (2005–07)

Pepsi (1992–2009)

TVS (2002–05)

Sanyo BPL (2007–present)

Action Shoes (1995–2000)

ESPN Star Sports (2002–present)

Toshiba (2010–present)

MRF (1999–2009), Adidas (2000–10)

Sunfeast (2007–13), Canon (2006–09)

Colgate-Palmolive, Philips, VISA, Castrol India (2011–12)

Britannia (2001–07)

Airtel (2004–06), Reynolds (2007–present)

Ujala Techno Bright and Coca-Cola (2011–13)

He has also been a spokesperson for National Egg Coordination Committee (2003–05),  AIDS Awareness Campaign (2005) and Luminous India (2010–present)

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