MUMBAI: Smriti Mandhana, the 21-year old lefthand batsman of the Indian women’s cricket team, is going to be the next sports star available for taking brand endorsements.
Close on the heels of Team India’s good performance in the ICC Women’s World Cup, where the team reached the finals, Mandhana has signed a multi-year representation association with sports marketing firm Baseline Ventures.
“We have signed a three-year deal with Smriti for managing all her commercial interests,“ Tuhin Mishra, managing director, Baseline Ventures, told ET. He said that Mandhana is a very talented young sport star and one of the only two Indian women who were invited to play in a foreign T20 league the Women’s Big Bash League.
“She is someone with a lot of potential and we believe that many brands, who want to target youth and women, would like to sign her,“ Mishra explained.Baseline also manages India’s badminton sensations PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth and cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, cueist Pankaj Advani, Indian racer Arjun Maini and actress Zaira Wasim. “We are very clear that we want to sign talent with an X-factor. All the athletes that we have are young, and immensely talented,“ he said. Brand experts believe that when it comes to sports, there’s a big dearth of endorsers. The biggest challenge lies in the visibility of the athlete.
“The key to build a brand is consistency. In order to get good brand endorsements, these athletes will have to perform consistently. Secondly, it is about visibility. A lot will depend on the BCCI’s calendar for the women’s team,“ said Indranil Das Blah, founding partner at sports marketing agency Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions. According to Blah, the visibility is very important as the brands would like to know whether the player will be playing regularly or not.
Brand strategy expert Harish Bijoor also feels that to attract advertising dollars, the athlete has to ensure more visibility.
SOURCE: ECONOMIC TIMES