Rishabh Pant who made an unbeaten 89 and fittingly hit the winning runs was declared the Man of the match. (PC-Instagram/Indian Cricket Team)
Just hours after playing an innings of a lifetime at the Brisbane cricket ground in the final match of the Test series on January 19, Rishabh Pant was signed by JSW Sports, the sports arm of JSW Group.
In this multi-year association with Pant, JSW Sports will manage commercial interests and marketing rights of the 23-year old cricketer.
"While the announcement was made yesterday, this was something that was decided long time ago. It was a work in progress. There is no debate in anyone's mind on his abilities. We have seen him up close through the IPL from 2018 to last year. He is a special talent," Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports, told Moneycontrol.
He added, "From our perspective he is one for the future. We want to start this important phase of his career together. From an IPL season which was below par for him to doing what he has done in the last couple of Test matches, shows he is hungry and determined."
Ghouse said that Pant is the first marquee cricketer that JSW Sports has got on board so far. This is why he thinks that Pant's addition will make a huge difference to the company.
"I think it makes a big difference. Up until now the management has focused on Olympic athletes. Getting into management of cricketers and especially big names like Rishabh (Pant) from our perspective as a management firm it is a big deal. We hope that it will help us across all aspects including bringing in more cricketers on board as well as using this to get better deals for our Olympic athletes," he said.
Ask Ghouse what makes Pant attractive for brands, he said, "He is quiet a personality. He is flamboyant. He has that x-factor and that will be exciting for a lot of brands. For us, the focus is to find the right fit. There is a lot of planning that has gone into this and we will maximise on his current performances."
In February last year, JSW Steel had signed a three-year deal with Pant.
Ghouse also estimates Pant's brand value to increase after the Test series win.
"His brand value will definitely increase. There are not many 23-year olds in the world who come in and win a Test match for you on the fifth day. So, we see a big boost in his values."
He estimates at least 15-20 percent increase in Pant's brand value.
JSW Sports manages over 40 sports personalities. The company takes care of endorsement deals, manages social media monetization, among others.
In its portfolio, the company has sportspersons who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics including wrestler Bajrang Punia, athlete Neeraj Chopra, Avinash Sable, boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav, Ashish Kumar and Satish Kumar.
The company also manages sports celebrities such as Sakshi Malik, Nirmala Devi among others.