Dominating the women’s cricket world for over a decade and a half, Mithali Raj even after leading the India to the ICC Women’s World Cup final last year nursed a grudge. Deprived of visibility (read live broadcast) Indian women teams heroics would fail to get the recognition they deserved.
“People know us by name but don’t recognise when they meet us,” Mithali had lamented shortly after the World Cup, obviously seeking more visibility by way of live broadcast of women’s cricket.
The brand, who invest millions on sports icons to strengthen their marketing campaigns and leverage the personnel connect the sporting heroes create, visibility and recognition mattered more than the performances in the middle.
In less than a year and a half, Women in Blue are getting the due recognition with their matches being broadcast live. The sight of a woman cricketer hitting more sixes than fours in her innings, makes the sport and the sportsperson a million dollar brand entity. Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur had slammed eight sixes and seven fours against the New Zealand, to score the maiden T20 International hundred for India.
The new-found recognition is resulting in brand endorsement deals and management contracts for the Indian women cricketers, leading behind the Olympians in demand – PV Sindhu being and exception.
Harmanpreet Leads the Way
The crown of captaincy and her on-field display of power to slam big hats make Harman an instant icon for the brands synonymous with energy. Harman has inked a prestigious deal to endorse ITC’s fruit juice brand B-Natural.
She is also endorsing India’s leading tire brand CEAT for 2 years. She was the first Indian woman cricketer to get a sponsor’s sticker on her bat.
Harmanpreet’s brand value following the world cup has reportedly gone up to ₹ 10-12 lakh for a day of commercial appearance and ₹ 40-50 lakh per annum to endorse a brand.
Mithali Raj Old is Gold
Veteran Mithali Raj has been a dominant woman cricketer in the brand world. The seasoned pro has landed her weight to the brands like US cab-hailing company Uber and Rio Tinto’s Australian diamonds.
She has also got the bat sponsorship agreement with the New Zealand-based cricket gear manufacturer Laver & Wood.
Mithali reportedly commands brand value between ₹ 20-30 lakhs.
Smriti Mandhana the young sensation
The Mumbai and India batter is dominating the brand world for Indian women cricketers. Managed by Baseline Ventures, Smriti under her belt has leading brands like Hero MotoCorp, Bata Power, Vaseline and Red Bull. Her managers baseline ventures,insidesport.co has reliably learnt, are engaged in talks with several brands with at least one announcement expected in the next few days.
Smriti’s brand value has reportedly reached between ₹40 lakh and ₹50 lakh.
Jemimah Rodriguez young but impactful
Also managed by Baseline Ventures, Mumbai and India opener Jemimah Rodriguez too has quietly sneaked into sport stars’ commercial arena with a bat endorsement deal.
She, too, had played the ICC Women’s World T20 with the Laver & Wood sticker on the blade of her bat. The deal was inked days before she left for the Caribbean Islands for the World T20.