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Cricket is a growing game with its popular mascots and fan followers, and cricketers also strive to leave their footprints in the sand in every field, be it cricket or advertising. They make sure that they have a place in all households of the country in some way or the other. If we take Sachin Tendulkar as an example, he has scored large not just literally but figuratively as well. According to the CEO of Percept Talent Management, Manish Porwal, brand Sachin is way ahead of everybody else. According to Porwal, the value of Sachin as a brand is at least five times that of any other star cricketer.

Sachin’s brand value is not influenced by cricket alone anymore. According to Piyush Pandey, avid cricket fan and the top honcho of Ogilvy and Mather, Sachin is a brand that will transcend time. Comparing Sachin and the football legend Pele, he says, “He is the dream child for every mother, dream father for every child and the dream neighbor for everybody.” Sachin Tendulkar is not an ordinary name in world cricket, rather if cricket is a religion then Sachin is God.
We have already seen him in advertisements of Boost, declaring the ‘secret of his energy’, or in an advertisement for pens, signing autographs for children or even sporting Nike sportswear. There has been a sudden increase in the trend of presenting stars in advertisements. We have seen the likes of Tabassum, Jalal Agha, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and even Amitabh Bachchan in various ads.

Do people really get influenced by the use of popular personalities for brand marketing? The answer is a definite yes. It gives rise to effective demand and instant awareness. We have seen Sachin endorsing top brands like Action Shoes, Visa, Pepsi, Adidas, Boost, Colgate, MRF, Phillips and Fiat. Sachin has captured every marketer’s imagination like no other Indian sportsperson.

Brands always choose celebrities who have a similarity between their characteristics and the brand’s identity. Sachin has come across as an individual of the highest character, along with his definite stature as a cricketer. He stands for faith, unquestionable talent, excellence and even God for his followers. He is known to have rejected endorsing an alcoholic drink. Many people revere him as much for his strength of character as they do for his mastery in the game of cricket. This is the quality based on which brands have designed their line of communication.

It is true that some other cricketers are endorsing more brands than Sachin and that his demand has decreased over the years with new talent emerging in the field of cricket. However, it is also evident that if a particular star does not perform well in his field, he or she is dropped like a hot brick. Sachin on the other hand, has endured the test of time, and hence we cannot say that his value has decreased.
In fact when Set Max got the rights to the next two world cups and DD sports got all the rights to international matches to be played in India, ESPN STAR sports was left out in the cold where matches featuring India were concerned. In order to make up for this they roped in Sachin Tendulkar as their brand ambassador.

Today’s school going population may not have too much of a connect with Sachin, but the elder generation still identifies with him. Brands that want to project an image of faith, belief and trust will now get more attracted towards him. Legends like Kapil Dev conveying social messages are extremely successful in their endeavors.

Now that Sachin Tendulkar has retired from international one day cricket, is he about to fade away in a forgotten crowd of celebrity models? Considering his stature as a person and as a cricketer it is difficult to imagine that. However, it is also a bitter truth about branding that the rising sun is always worshipped. We have seen many stars shining and then fading away to be forgotten by the masses. This leaves us with a pertinent question – will brand Sachin Tendulkar endure in spite of the array of younger star cricketers and his fading glory as he retires from international cricket?


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