Sachin Tendulkar and Shah Rukh Khan are the top favourites of brands. They have successfully sold their fans products ranging from colas to cars. Now that Sachin has retired from cricket, will his position be affected? Shailendra Singh, joint managing director, Percept says, “Sachin’s brand equity will get seriously hurt post his retirement because he has not done much to reinvent his brand.”
Reigning so far!
Having endorsed more than 20 brands, Sachin has been one of the highest paid celebrity endorsers in the country, raking between Rs7 crore and Rs10 crore per brand. Brand expert Harish Bijoor says, “Sachin was a hot favourite as he was a role model, apart from being a cricketing god. He has a family guy image, and he has always stayed away from controversies and that kind of clean image was a huge plus. But it is his game that made him most wanted for all brands. So yes, his brand will definitely be affected post his retirement.”
Experts reveal that the dip in the endorsements coming Sachin’s way may not just have to do with retirement, but also the fact that younger stars are more in demand now.
Marketing history is replete with examples when brands have switched over to younger players in any field. Also, newbies come at a lesser price, and are looked upon as a long-term investment. Anirban Das Blah, managing partner, Caa Kwan says, “If you notice, Sachin has not signed on many new brands in the past two-three years, as opposed to Dhoni or Virat. So his retirement will definitely follow a dip but not a significant change as he’s already easing out.”
Atul Kasbekar, CMD Bling Entertainment, says, “Though unfortunate, it is something that is inevitable even for market leaders. For Sachin, the change has already begun and the transition has been gradual.” Atul adds that right now the markets are ruled by the young consumers and so the brands are mostly targeted at them. “Fifty per cent of our country is below 30 years of age. They come with the spending power today so it is only logical that brands pick up faces who are current and more relevant to the youth. The connectivity is more with the newer faces, while stability is what the
The Big B factor!
No one enjoys the same position forever. Only one man is above that: Amitabh Bachchan. Atul agrees, “He has reinvented himself time and again to suit the markets and so continues to be on top in terms of brand positioning. To be the current flavour you have to be in the limelight and be a continuous achiever.
You cannot rest on past laurels for long here.” So, will repositioning help? Not much, says Singh, “In my opinion, the repositioning of his brand should have started five years ago. Fans, consumers and media are way too restless now to absorb and get excited about his repositioning post retirement.” As for staying in the limelight — there are reports of Sachin wanting to buy a badminton team — but these are only small ancillary activities which may keep him in the news but may not help the brand cause.
Anirban elaborates, “A brand paying a celebrity in crores needs to be justified. It is important for any celebrity to continue to be current. Unless a celebrity can create a second shelf life, it is unlikely that despite his demi-God status, Sachin will be able to retain the same sheen to lure brands.”
However, it’s not all downhill for Sachin, feels Atul and says, “You cannot expect a youth-driven cola brand to approach Sachin, but his credibility makes him an ideal face for a brand looking for someone whose name stands for security. So unlike his predecessors, Sachin will continue to have brands. So while there will be a slight dip, it cannot be a complete full stop. The enigma of Sachin Tendulkar is enduring, so it’s not something that will suddenly go invisible.” He is still a strong player declares Anirban and adds, “His dependable stock makes him worthy of more mature and serious brands in the banking and finance sector that spell security. He would be a safe bet and an asset when it comes to high-luxury brands, banking, realty, etc.”