MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Is the legend losing his lustre? Cola major Pepsi would appear to think so. It has decided to sever its almost a decade-old relationship with one of the most celebrated cricketers in Indian history, Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin’s contract, which ended in May, is not being renewed. Company insiders told ET that the second highest run-getter in the history of the game would not be able to attract the younger generation. Pepsi clearly feels his cost of Rs 4-5 crore was excessive, and perhaps, not value for money. Earlier this year, Pepsi had dropped former captains Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly as well. The company is now clear about its positioning and is targeting only young cricketers who are in vogue and also, at least in its view, justify a far higher price-value equation. In fact, Pepsi recently launched the ‘Yeh hai youngistan meri jaan’ campaign and roped in Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma. Like Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly are among the finest batsmen India has produced. Most would put them way ahead of Rohit Sharma, for instance, in terms of cricketing prowess, though brand managers seem to have to made the call that their appeal to the younger generation is waning. World Sport Group (WSG), the managers for Sachin, declined to comment. But insiders, who were not willing to speak on record, confirmed the development. When contacted, PepsiCo EVP marketing Sandeep Singh Arora maintained: “We will continue to take forward our association with cricket and cricketers. But I can offer no comments specific to Tendulkar.” “Tendulkar’s endorsement fee was too steep; further, Pepsi wants to focus on youngsters which fits in with its ‘Youngistan meri jaan’ communication theme,” an insider at Pepsi said. As per market estimates, Tendulkar, with a fee ranging Rs 3-4 crore for endorsement per brand annually, has been the most expensive cricketer of his generation. However, it is now widely believed that MS Dhoni has surpassed him. Interestingly, PepsiCo’s snack foods arm FritoLay recently signed on ODI captain Dhoni as its brand ambassador along with Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan. When Pepsi first got Sachin on board, he was the new kid on the block and was at his peak. With new stars emerging in cricket, and Pepsi constantly looking at innovating itself, it has decided to focus only on young talent and infuse fresh faces.