2018 was a fantastic year in the sporting world with many records made and numerous trophies won. But one battle that Indian sports won collectively is the increase in the number of business entities opting for sportspersons as their brand ambassadors. From Mary Kom to Hima Das, here are the top 5 endorsement deals signed by sportspersons in 2018.
Earlier this month, Panerai, an Italian luxury sports watchmaker, announced its collaboration with India’s cricketing icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni as their Brand Ambassador for India.
Officine Panerai, its official name, was founded by Giovanni Panerai in Florence, Italy way back in 1860. The prestigious company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A, designs, manufactures and sells watches across the world. The company has Neuchâtel, Switzerland as its headquarters. MS Dhoni perfectly reflects the values of quality, authenticity, and passion of the Panerai’s watch legacy since he is an ardent fan and connoisseur of the brand.
Mary Kom- BSNL
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. announced earlier in September their decision to appoint MC Mary Kom as the telecom company’s brand ambassador. The two-year deal will see the Manipur-based boxer endorse and engage in promotional activities of BSNL for its various services.
Mary Kom had a fantastic year in which she won her first ever Commonwealth Games before going on to record her 6th gold at the World Championships in Delhi, a world record in itself.
With traces that go way back to the British era, BSNL is very well India’s oldest communication service provider.
This deal thus marks the collaboration of two parties that are master of their trades!
One8 was co-founded by Virat Kohli, who is also its brand ambassador, in association with Puma late last year. 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.)-- Advertisement --
India’s track sensation, Hima Das signed an endorsement deal with German sports manufacturer Adidas earlier in September.
Only 18, the Assam-based athlete scripted history on 12th July by becoming the first Indian woman to win gold in a track event at the World U20 Athletics Championships. She also beat former champion PT Usha’s record in the event as well, clocking 51.13 seconds in 400m in November. This deal is a testament to the increase in recognition for non-cricketing athletes, especially the women sportspersons.
Apart from this deal, the ‘Golden Girl’ as she is popularly known in India, was also named the brand ambassador for YONO, SBI’s integrated digital banking platform, and Edelweiss. She is also a UNICEF Youth Ambassador, India’s first sportsperson to achieve the feat.
Smriti Mandhana- Alcon
The rise of Smriti Mandhana uncannily coincides with that of India Women’s cricket team popularity. Over the years, the swashbuckling opener has to establish herself an important part of the Indian contingent. It was announced yesterday that Smriti Mandhana would be representing Alcon as their brand ambassador.
Alcon, which is a division of Novartis, also made this announcement through a new campaign called ‘Never Compromise’. This campaign is outlined to acknowledge and celebrate the everyday struggles and successes of people to reach their dreams. Smriti will be involved in promoting Alcon’s new product innovation, the AIR OPTIX® plus HydraGlyde® contact lens.
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