‘Brand' Dhoni scores again with IPL-4 win

Chennai/Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

M.S. Dhoni, captain of Chennai Super Kings, clebrates winning the IPL-4 with CSK teammates in Chennai on Saturday. -- PTI

A sultry summer evening in Chennai saw yet another triumph for cricket captain M.S. Dhoni, this time as captain of the Chennai Super Kings. Winning IPL edition 4, on the heels of the World Cup win, could well see Brand Dhoni gain in strength.

Marketers now see the value and appeal of Dhoni post the World Cup and post-IPL wins sky-rocket.

Fantastic equity

Says Mr Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, O&M South Asia: “Dhoni already has fantastic equity. He's got a personality that is loved by people, and he gives them the belief that you don't have to be from fancy places or fancy schools to succeed. His equity is already at a very big high and his persona is consistent. This win only reinforces that persona.”

Mr Harish Bhat, Chief Operating Officer, Watches, Titan Industries, says that the core of Dhoni's ‘brand' is a cool determination to win overcoming all odds.

“That core of brand Dhoni was very visible in both tournaments; he delivered the pleasure of victory to viewers more often than the bane of losing. He's willing to take risks and take responsibility for them. All these qualities make him a winning brand,” says Mr Bhat.

He says that Dhoni is already an iconic brand and is well on his way to becoming even more so. Dhoni is a brand ambassador for Titan's brand Sonata.

Captain cool

A senior executive of a company which is among the main sponsors for an IPL team, who does not wish to be named, analysing brand Dhoni, says that he's neither the best batsman nor the best wicket-keeper around. But, his cool and calm combine uniquely with captaincy to make him a good leader. “Most brands have an edge, but he doesn't have any angularity about him which works to his advantage,” he points out.

The right brand

But, brand Dhoni, he says, is at a crossroads. At last count, according to London-based Sports Pro magazine, Dhoni, ranked as the tenth most marketable sportsperson in the world, was endorsing 23 brands and been guaranteed a minimum earning of $19 million (Rs 85 crore) over the next three years. The fee he charges is reportedly Rs 6 crore a year an endorsement for a period of three years.

As this executive, who has worked with many iconic Indian brands, points out, Dhoni should be choosing his brands carefully. “He will be hurting his brand value if he endorses everything under the sun. He needs to endorse brands that embody his qualities: coolness and determination. He needs to endorse only brands with stature,” he says.

Published on May 29, 2011

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