Companies

Olympic medals add glitter to athletes’ brand values

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 14, 2012 Published on August 14, 2012

Saina Nehwal’s brand valuation is expected to go beyond the Rs 1 crore mark with 7-8 endorsement deals.

Even as some of the star athletes crashed out of the London Olympics and some underdogs won medals, the brand values of these athletes are expected to shoot up. Also the hype and buzz around the games this season is expected to get more corporates to invest in sports played in the Olympic.

Sushil Kumar, the only Indian to have won two consecutive individual Olympic medals and the man who led the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony, may cross the Rs 80 lakh-1 crore mark in brand valuation, according to sources. The wrestler has already endorsed brands such as Eicher tractors and Mountain Dew.

Joji George, CEO, Percept Sports and Entertainment, said, “We are already getting offers from companies who want to tap into Sushil Kumar’s values of determination and consistency especially focussed on Northern territory. We are also going to push for deals to leverage on his success and engage better and build his brand valuation.”

Badminton star Saina Nehwal has already made it big in the endorsement segment and her brand valuation is expected to go beyond the Rs 1-crore mark with 7-8 endorsement deals. Nehwal has had brands queuing up to rope her even before she won the medal.

Mary Kom, who hogged global limelight as India’s first-ever woman boxer at the Olympics, has started getting offers from insurance companies, fitness brands, women products as well as North Eastern real estate companies, said sources.

But winning medals at the London Olympics could be the turning point especially for athletes such as Yogeshwar Dutt and Vijay Kumar. , Neerav Tomar, CEO, IOS Sports and Entertainment, said, “Yogeshwar Dutt has become an overnight star and we are getting offers from brands focussed on rural markets such as tractor companies, steel and cement companies, given wrestling as a sport has a mass following.” Tomar said Dutt could garner higher branding value especially when packaged with other medal winners depending on his brand recall and brand building. IOS Media manages athletes such as Mary Kom and Yogeshwar Dutt.

Investment in sports

Corporates are also waking up to the potential of investing in these sports. “There was an unprecedented media coverage as well as huge buzz on social media. This is likely to translate into higher brand recall for medal winners as well get corporates to step up investments in non-cricket sports,” said Viren Rasquinha, CEO, Olympic Gold Quest. OGQ, is a not-for-profit association and supports funding of athletes.

It supported players such as Mary Kom, Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar. It is already helping in training for a batch of athletes for the Olympics 2016 and Olympics 2020. “We are already in talks with three additional corporates who are willing to help raise funding to support the training of our athletes with the success of the Indian contingent at the Olympics,” he added.

Added Joji George, “We are already seeing interest in broadcasting rights as well as sponsorship rights, but how this buzz and enthusiasm actually translates in cash for training of athletes or sponsorship remains to be seen.”

Meenakshi.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 14, 2012

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