Cricket has often been used to build ties between nations and promote solidarity. It is capable of changing the relations and equations across national and international boundaries. The unifying force of the sport brings huge publicity and fame to the players. The fan following for the game has been steadily growing, especially in India. This explains why the players receive recognition across a wide spectrum of the cricket-playing world and beyond. India has great admiration for this game and its players are literally idolized by the multitudes of their fans.
The passion for cricket among the audience has grown exponentially over the past few years. Considering the growing significance of these giants of the game, many advertising companies started using their fame for marketing products and services. In India, cricket is almost like a religion and the players are demigods. Any product or service launched by these players is likely to be a money spinner. The products endorsed by these stars become widely accepted brands. On the other hand, the players grow richer in quick time. India has been ranked among the top five in promoting cricket endorsements, and this is building a ladder for the commercial advertising platform.
To get the crown of brand endorsements, the player must ensure a stable and improved performance in the game. If a game builds the foundation of the player and paves the way to success, endorsements add eminence to his dexterity. Over the past few years, there has been a steady rise in the performance of the players as a team. Following the successful spell, Team India received great support from the advertising media when they won their first World Cup in 1984. When the men in blue won the World Cup in 2011, they made their mark as hot-selling brands even more strongly.
The game and endorsements have given cricket players international publicity for their sportsmanship. The individual performances of the players helped them receive accolades, awards and many domestic as well as international endorsements. Advertising media has always been the backbone, supporting the booming career of a cricketer. There is huge competition between these giants for their brands. Over the past few years, following the latest trends of advertising, Indian cricketers have been commercially successful in promoting their brands on various platforms.
According to media reports, endorsements from sports stars and movie celebrities make huge profits every year. The reliability of the product is matched with the efficiency of these players in creating effective advertisements. Generally, cricketers are associated with many advertising bodies like sponsors, national and international brands which help them earn handsomely. On the ground, it is the individual cricketer’s score which makes him stand ahead in the group for quality endorsements to flow into his pockets and helps to build his reputation. Here is a list of some of the most successful Indian cricketers, their annual turnover and popular brands. According to Forbes 2012, the most successful cricketers and their brands are:
• Mahendra Singh Dhoni - earns $26.5 million annually and endorses 17 big brands like Reebok, Pepsi, Boost, Exide and Titan TVS.
• Sachin Tendulkar - earns $18.6 million through brands like Toshiba, Coca-Cola, Adidas and Castrol.
• Gautam Gambhir - makes $7.3 million through brands like MRF, Reebok, Lays and Royal Stag.
• Virat Kohli - makes $7.1 million through brands like Fast Track, Nike, PepsiCo, Cinthol and Nestle.
Although they earn huge profits through these endorsements, it’s not an easy game for these players to be in peak form always. For a cricket player to have continuous admiration from the audience and cash in on top brand endorsements, hisperformance has to be consistent. On the other hand, if the player loses his grip on his performance and does not show consistency, the impact is also observed on the commercial success rate of the product he is endorsing. As a result, advertisers say that celebrity endorsements that engage sports personalities need to be handled carefully.