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Time for Sachin to bat for mature, stable brands

Purvita Chatterjee
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Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

REPOSITIONING IMAGE

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from one-day international cricket gives him a chance to reposition himself as a brand that stands for maturity and stability.

The ace cricketer should move away from ‘youth’-oriented brands and stick to serious and steady categories such as insurance, financial services and maybe even telecom and real estate, say brand experts.

“Sachin should re-invent his brand and let go certain youth brands such as Coca-Cola and Adidas. Unlike Bollywood, cricket is the real world and you cannot fake it. Brands are ruthless and have hired him for commercial reasons. Now that he is going to be a ‘retired commodity’, Sachin should endorse those brands and categories which are mature and stable and re-position himself while always being remembered as a legend,’’ says Shailendra Singh, Joint Managing Director, Percept.

Estimated to command between Rs 6 and 8 crore for every sponsorship deal, the cricket icon should possibly cut down the number of deals rather than reduce his price. “Sachin should get selective in the kind of brands he endorses and should not compromise on his rates. He should possibly do half the number of brands he currently endorses,” suggests Indranil Das Blah, COO, CAA Kwan, a sports and entertainment marketing company.

Though he has more than 10 brands in his kitty, Sachin has been dropped from big-ticket endorsement deals with brands such as Airtel and Canon. Both have replaced him with younger celebrities.

But the master blaster has always stood for performance and stability and this is what will hold him in good stead as he enters his post-retirement phase.

“Sachin is a mature and stable brand today and should stay away from the youth categories. While the number of endorsement deals will come down, he should stand for family-oriented and stable categories. Instead of a youth brand like Boost, he should possibly stand for a family-based brand like Horlicks,” says Manish Porwal, Managing Director, Alchemist, a talent and marketing solutions company.

At the same time, fewer endorsements may not be the end of the road for Sachin. In the long term, his brand can get extended into a longer innings in a political or business career.

As Porwal says, “Sachin can always be like Brand Gandhi. His brand can be leveraged in areas such as like politics and even business. Brand Sachin can go beyond just playing cricket.’’

Purvita@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 23, 2012)
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