Will brands run after the new cricketing prodigy?

Prithvi Shaw is the new cricketing kid who launched himself with a century on debut. Some of the brands (for example MRF & Protinex) have already signed up with up him looking at his future potential. Will brands wait and watch before signing him for multiple brands or will they take a punt and go for his endorsement. He will complete 19 shortly and he has a long way to go to build his career and mould himself along the lines of Virat and Sachin. I am sure brands will be watching him closely and contemplating to sign him on as early as possible as there is a good cricketing season coming in the next 8 – 10 months. Here are my observations on how brands may benefit.

What will be right brand fit?

Prithvi has a very cool and calm personality. There are several brands which can fit him and will be relevant starting from an E-commerce brand to any sporting goods brand. Health brands can also be a perfect fit. Protinex has already thought ahead of the curve and signed him. After his great success at the under 19 world cup championship he raised the expectations of many potential brands and Protinex happens to be one of the early brands to grab the opportunity.

What works in favour of Prithvi?

Firstly, he is very consistent in his performance. Over the last few years he has disturbed several records and he has been noticed in all forms of cricket. His aggressive batting and being an opener also add merit for brands to sign him, since as an opener if he gets going and does well consistently with more runs, brands will welcome that. Brands are always keen to look at young and smart faces and hence they would prefer to align with young, fresh and aggressive cricketers.

Endorsement fees could be affordable?

As you grow popular you tend to become expensive and especially when you shine as a cricketer. Prithvi is new and brands may get the benefit to negotiate at the best possible price in the early stages. It is a matter of time before he becomes expensive once his performance starts climbing with consistent results.

Will the brands benefit?

Brands will benefit as he will be a new and fresh face. His childish appearance will attract more eyeballs and aspiring cricketers will look at him as a role model. Even the clutter level will be taken care of as he will stand out from the rest of the regular cricketers who are endorsing. There is an element of risk that the brands have to encounter but if all goes well it will be a big win for brands to push their relevant products.

Finally, cricket is religion in our country and most brands follow cricket heroes when it comes to brand endorsements and buying spots over a program. With the advent of IPL, cricket has only gotten more popular and we hear that test cricket is also going to get more support and push. So from every angle endorsing with a fresh face filled with huge talent is always welcome even if it comes with some risk.

The views expressed here are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Reputation Today.

Ganapathy Viswanathan
An independent consultant in Branding and Communication, Ganapathy Viswanathan comes with over three decades of experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations & Digital Marketing. He has worked in diverse disciplines with several multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy, Lowe and Mudra Group.

On the Public Relations front, he was the General Manager, Western region of 20:20 MSL, where he spearheaded the western region operations. In his last role he was the Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Communication at Eureka Mobile Advertising - a mobile engagement company in India head quartered in UK.

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