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With players like Rishabh Pant, Shubham Gill, brands can now look beyond Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni

This test has proved that there is a lot more cricketing depth in the Indian team. The money will trickle down now, rather than stay stagnated at the top rung, said brand expert Harish Bijoor.

January 21, 2021 / 01:21 PM IST
Image: Instagram/indiancricketteam

Image: Instagram/indiancricketteam

The strong outing on the ground by players like Rishabh Pant, Shubhman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan in Brisbane during the just-concluded Test series against Australia has not only given India a historic win but has given brands a wider choice.

The experts believe that the brands do not have to put all their focus on star players like MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli.

"The focus on cricket players has widened. Earlier, it was four to five superstars. Right now thanks to the performance in the last Test match (against Australia) a lot of cricketers have come into consideration like

Rishabh Pant, Shubhman Gill, Mohammed Siraj," Llyod Mathias, business strategist, and angel investor, told Moneycontrol.

"They also represent a diverse psychographic. They come from different parts of the world. This bodes well for cricket as brands can now have a much wider choice and not have to choose from just the Kohlis and Dhonis of the cricket world," he added.

Adding to this, Harish Bijoor, Brand Guru & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, said, "In many ways, the market for brand endorsement by cricket stars such as (Virat) Kohli and (MS) Dhoni stands overheated. This test has proved that there is a lot more cricketing depth in the Indian team. The money will trickle down now, rather than stay stagnated at the top rung. Expect the birth of at least three new brand endorsers."


Mathias thinks that many brands will rush to get these players on board. "Also, because suddenly cricket is back into focus. While IPL (Indian Premier League) was there, international cricket has its own charm. There will be a big spurt in brand interest for cricketers."

Sharing similar sentiments, Bijoor said, "This one final match (that ended on January 19), a Test match that resembled a 20:20 on the final day, has stirred the cauldron of cricket interest once again. And yes the young stars have earned the interest brands will show in them. Rishabh Pant has kicked it off for now. More to follow."

According to Mathias, the new category of advertisers like e-commerce, education technology, and online gaming will show more interest in getting the emerging star players on board. These categories in 2020 increased their ad spends especially on television significantly

The other category that he thinks will be more interested in the new star players is FMCG. "This category looks at long term associations. They look at players with whom they can build a story."

When it comes to brand interest, RPG Enterprises Chairman Harsh Goenka had tweeted recently saying that "Shubhman Gill deserves the CEAT bat again."

CEAT, a subsidiary of the Group, had signed Gill in 2018 for a bat endorsement deal.

Experts say if Gill signs another such deal with CEAT he may be getting around Rs 1-2 crore a year. Virat Kohli who has a deal with MRF Tyres gets around Rs five crore a year.

With brand deals already pouring in, Mathias estimates the brand value of Gill and Pant to increase by as much as 30 to 50 percent.

"It looks like both these players will become a permanent part of the team. And brands bet on such players."

Along with their strong performance against Australia in the Test series, Mathias thinks it is the background of the emerging star players that will come into play when brands sign them.

"The fact that many of them had very humble beginnings and fought difficult odds to come to this position. Like Mohammed Siraj or T Natarajan coming from a humble background. These factors will come into play," said Mathias.

"It is both cricket performance as well their backgrounds that brands consider. Also, the emerging star cricketers are no longer coming from affluent cities. These coming of age players are from India II or Bharat. And brands have a story within that as well," he said.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Jan 21, 2021 01:19 pm

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