BCCI is one of the richest cricket board, with an average operating budget crossing the ₹1,000 crore mark. Naturally, the Indian cricketers are also among the most well-paid athletes globally. According to its revised pay structure last year, BCCI compensates the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma with a package of ₹ 7 crores per annum, with the compensation from the Indian Premier League coming in separately.
The popularity of cricketers also makes them one of the most profitable personalities when it comes to brand endorsements. According to a report from Duff & Phelps, Virat Kohli had a brand value of $144 million or just under ₹1,000 crore going by the current exchange rates.
All these factors mean that some of India’s leading cricketers have a huge amount of disposable money at hands. Most of them decide to invest in the apparel industry or upcoming technologies.
Here are the top five sports brands owned by Indian cricketers:
#5. Spektacom – Anil Kumble
Former Indian cricket spinning great Anil Kumble made a return to the cricket last year, not on the field but off it, and with the willow instead of a ball. Spektacom, a sports technology startup owned by Kumble, recently announced the launch of ‘Power Bats’ to take batting to a whole new level. The Power Bat is IOT based – innovative sensor-powered sticker. It smartly quantifies the quality of a player’s shot by capturing data and analyzing its impact characteristics through a gamut of wireless sensors and cloud analytics.
Yuvraj Singh once ruled the pitch with his hard-hitting brand of batting. However, when he was in his prime years (having already won the 2011 ICC World Cup), he was detected with a cancerous tumour in his left lung. That experience changed his outlook towards the world and he launched a foundation called ‘Yuvraj Singh Foundation’ on the lines of Lance Armstrong’s ‘Livestrong Foundation’.
The foundation’s main aim is to spread awareness pertaining to early cancer detection and prevention. The foundation launched a range of fashion apparels and accessories under the YouWeCan (YWC) brand. Yuvraj Singh expressed to invest roughly ₹40-50 crores in the development of the brand.
After a successfully venturing and establishing a mark in the fashion industry, YWC recently decided to foray into the sports vertical. It was decided that the entire range of sports gear would be launched under the YWC Sports brand. The range of products includes cricket equipment such as Kashmir and English willow bats, soft leather gear kits, protection gears, kit bags etc.
#3. SEVEN – Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Seven has been the jersey number of veteran Indian cricketer MS Dhoni, may it be for the Indian cricket team or in IPL. However, it also became his company’s new name – SEVEN in February 2016. The brand was launched by MS Dhoni, who is also its global brand ambassador, in association with Rhiti Sports.
Jointly, a sum around ₹150 crore was invested in the development and marketing of the sports brand. SEVEN specializes in clothing and fashion accessories along with footwear. Dhoni owns the footwear vertical of the company while also owning the licensing rights.
Among its esteemed clients include the IPL side Chennai Super Kings, with whom MS Dhoni has been playing since its inception.
#2. Wrogn – Virat Kohli | Sachin Tendulkar
Wrogn (pronounced ‘Wrong’) is a brand owned by Universal Sportsbiz, that was founded by Anjana Reddy. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar later came in as a co-investor in the startup. Wrogn then brought Virat Kohli as its brand endorser before co-investing in it. Since its inception in 2014, the brand has grown from strength to strength, quite in line with the rise of Virat Kohli on the cricketing map.
While its revenues stood at ₹4.8 crore till 2014. But then, when Kohli came in as the face of WROGN, things suddenly brightened up for the Reddy and Tendulkar owned-business. In the fiscal year 2016-17, the revenues jumped to an astounding ₹101 crore.
Another high for Wrogn came in 2018 when it was the official apparel partner of IPL side Royal Challenger Bangalore. The trendy sports brand has clicked with the youngsters, with its youth-centred designing and marketing.
Recently, the brand’s parent, Universal Sportsbiz, managed to attract as much as $13 million (₹91.5 crore) of investment through Accel Partners, Altera Capital, and others.
#1. One8 – Virat Kohli
One8 was co-founded by Virat Kohli, who is also its global brand ambassador, in association with Puma late in 2017. However, within a year, the brand went on to set the cash registers ringing with record sales across the country. With its gross sales revenue crossing the elusive mark of ₹100 crore, this deal could very well be Indian sport’s biggest business success this year. One8 specializes in manufacturing luxury footwear, athleisure and performance apparels and accessories with sales mostly through e-commerce.
This has been a blockbuster season for Virat Kohli who ends the year as world’s highest run-scorer in tests (1322) and ODIs (1202). He is the only Indian sportsperson to sign a ₹100 crore-worth endorsement deal. (A deal he made last year with Puma)
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