Oct 10, 2008

Mktg - Ganguly on strong wicket in adworld over retirement

Quitting could actually help lift ones sagging fortunes! Amidst the brouhaha over intransigence of Indian cricket team’s ‘Fab five’ to call it a day, Sourav Ganguly’s proactive (and seemingly, honest) retirement announcement, seems to have done just that. Sports marketers predict a smart revival in Ganguly’s brand value which had hit a rock bottom during the last few years.

Says Anirban Das Blah, CEO of Globosport India: “Ganguly’s brand value is set to go up. By announcing his retirement he has towered over all controversies, emerged as a statesman of the game. Twelve months ago, he was not sought after, but now brands that wish to show qualities of leadership and national pride could sign him on.”

According to Vinita Bangard, COO, Percept Talent Management that manages Ganguly’s endorsements, before the announcement, Sourav took home Rs 12-15 crore from endorsements, appearances et al. “He had a per endorsement fee of about 1.5 crore. Both these are only going to go up after his decision,” she says.

Although people agree that the decision to quit could help Ganguly’s sagging endorsement career, they are not sure if the fee would be too steep. Latika Khaneja, CEO of Collage Sports, says that Brand Ganguly’s future will depend on how he projects himself in future and whether he is able to retain his appeal over a period of time. “He was dropped for 15 months in the middle of his career and lost most of his endorsements, so he had little to protect by way of endorsements,” she says. “However, he has a clout and image he can now leverage by projecting himself as a doyen of cricket.”

Trade pundits opine that now, the nature of Sourav’s endorsements will also change. “While he still figures in the youth bracket, he will now be sought by those brands that are looking for a personality with pedigree, a mature person,” says Bangard of Percept talent Management. “I see him endorsing financial services brands.”

Leading advertiser Pepsi earlier this year dropped Ganguly who currently has three brands, Chirag Computers, BMA Steel and Tata Indicom, in his kitty. “We retain an association with him, but he is not our brand ambassador anymore. He has been successful in launching our services country-wide. We are definitely looking at working with him on special projects,” says Abdul Khan, head of marketing, Tata Teleservices.

In recent times, the performances of Team India’s senior players have come under much scrutiny, what with younger players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh edging them out both on the field and in the advertising stakes.

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