Source : Arnonmedia
A place like India where cricket is more of a ‘religion’ than a sports item, the players are ‘gods.’ Little wonder on why brands choose players as brand ambassadors to increase the reach of their product and its popularity. Take Virat Kohli who has been named as the world’s highest paid athletes in 2018 by Forbes magazine. Virat endorses many brands like Puma, Boost, Tissot, Manyavar, American Tourister, MRF Tyres, Uber India, Philips India to name a few. MS Dhoni, another cricketer is a favourite for many brands like Indigo Paints, Snickers India, Gulf Oil India and so. In the world of cricket and brand ambassadors, the latest favourites are cricketers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Team India openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan in the recently held Asia Cup 2018 both contributed to the team’s winning sphere in the tournament. Rohit Sharma is also the Captain of Team India in the absence of Virat Kohli and leads the team from the front in the tournament. The duo, Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan even managed to get a massive 210-run partnership against Pakistan in the tournament. Both managed to hit century in the match and their impressive scoring line all along the tournament is noteworthy. Half way along the tournament, Rohit has scored three successive fifty 50 plus score in the tournament with sequence being 52, 83* and 111*. Shikhar Dhawan on the other hand is even more impressive with 127, 46, 40 and 114. The Rohit- Dhawan combination is hailed as one of the most fearsome opening pairs in ODI format today.
In 2015, Forbes had ranked Rohit Sharma as the 46th richest Indian celebrity. Presently, Rohit stands among the top 10 richest Indian cricketers. Adidas was one of the international brands which made Rohit Sharma to endorse its products in 2014. The German sportswear major elevated Rohit’s status to that of world class athletes like Sachin Tendulkar to promote Adidas products. Commenting on the signing of Sharma, Adidas India Brand Director Tushar Goculdas said: “Rohit is an inspiration to young, aspiring cricketers and he will be a key driving force for Adidas’ cricket equipment business. He is a class act on the field, an extremely talented batsman, a brilliant fielder and a natural leader. Besides being one of the leading runscorers in ODIs this year, he has had a phenomenal start to his test career.” In 2016, Rohit Sharma became the brand ambassador of world famous watch brand Hublot becoming second renowned cricketer after former Australian captain Michael Clarke to be associated with the brand. He was seen promoting the company’s signature ‘Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph’ edition which has been created to celebrate the sport of cricket. “I have always been a watch fanatic; so being associated with a brand like Hublot is an absolute delight. They create some incredible timepieces, unique and different, so to be on their roster and them on mine is incredible. Their involvement in sport has been remarkable, so that makes our association even more exciting,” said Rohit about his association with Hublot. Hublot on their part expressed their excitement to be associated with the stylish Mumbai batsman who has the highest individual ODI score to his credit and is among the top-10 ODI batsmen in the ICC list. “Hublot sees a lot of common between the Brand and Rohit Sharma as he combines traditional batting technique with entertainment,” a press release stated. Japanese car manufacturer Nissan was another brand which associated with Rohit Sharma. Besides him, West Indian allrounder Andre Russell and New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates were also part of Nissan’s team of brand ambassadors to promote the brand during IPL. The trio have joined South African bowling legend Dale Steyn and rising star Kagiso Rabada in the Nissan cricket family, who were recently announced as Nissan cricket ambassadors in their home country for the next year. In addition to an advertising campaign, Nissan’s cricket ambassadors were also active on social media across the tournament, supporting other fan focused initiatives such as Nissan Play of the Day and sharing great cricket content. Electronic products manufacturer, Sharp was the latest to associate with Rohit Sharma. By making him as its brand ambassador, Sharp wanted to move further steps in becoming India’s leading player in the TV segment with its range of Aquos LED TVs. “We are really excited to have Rohit on board. His technical expertise at the game, consistency and elegance, both on and off the field, resonates with our brand that stands for innovations in LED Technology through years of Japanese research and development. His presence will surely help us launch this brand in a country where he has such a huge fan following,” said Sharp TV India, Sales Director, James Yang. The brand intended to leverage the love for the sport and keep the main campaign thought intact where the campaign is that anything that you watch is always “Best Seen on Sharp”. The brand strengthened its network base across the country and showcased a seamless integration of country’s immense love for Cricket & brand Sharp.
It is estimated that Shikhar Dhawan collects around Rs.5 crores as brand endorsement fee now. One of the earlier brand association by Shikhar Dhawan includes liquor major Allied Blenders and Distillers. In 2013, they had roped in him as its brand ambassador for Jolly Roger music CDs. In 2014, Bangalore-based Canara Bank signed Shikhar Dhawan as its brand ambassador. According to the sources, the size of the deal was around Rs.75-80 lakh a year. The contract included him participating in events and shooting ad’s of the bank. In the same year he also replaced MS Dhoni as the brand ambassador for clothing brand Big Bazaar. Dhawan’s mass appeal and connect with the youth was seen as a great fit for a brand like Big Bazaar. Alcis Sports, a cutting-edge Indian performance wear brand, in 2017 announced the association with the brand with Shikhar Dhawan as the brand ambassador for the company for an initial period of two years.