Prithvi’s managers take tough stance against brands leveraging star power

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Using Prithvi Shaw’s name for commercial leverage under the guise of congratulating the latest sensation of Indian cricket may cost dear to the brands. The teenager’s talent managers Baseline Ventures have taken a tough stance against the erring brands for infringement of his commercial rights.

“We have initiated action against Swiggy and FreeCharge. We are also trying figure out the other brands who have unlawfully used the talent with an intent to promote their brand,” Baseline Ventures Managing Director Tuhin Mishra told insidesport.co. “To tweet a congratulatory message is fine. But here it’s far beyond that. Now Thugs of Hindustan is a big hit. Can you dare to it with the iconic stars whose presence makes the movie a blockbuster.”

Baseline Ventures has sought ₹ 1 crore compensation from food delivery app Swiggy and e-commerce website FreeCharge. Swiggy and FreeCharge had used Prithvi Shaw creative with the brand identity to post congratulatory messages on their official social media platforms as the Mumbai teenager became the youngest opener to score a Test century on his India debut. 

FreeCharge, however, has deleted the tweet from their official handle.

Prithvi, making his debut for India in the first Test against the West Indies, had rushed to his century off only 99 deliveries. Cricket pundits, fellow players, brands and a host of fans have showered lavish praise for the 134-run knock, coming off 154 balls with 19 boundaries. “All are free to congratulate a player on his achievement. By seeking commercial gains in the guise of paying a tribute to an achiever, you are denying the player of his legitimate commercial rights. That is not acceptable,” says Mishra.

Swiggy and FreeCharge are not the only ones to celebrate the Prithvi’s success with their brand identity. “We know several other brands have tried this misadventure. We are trying to figure out the course of action with our legal team.”

“We cannot be unfair to our sponsors who pay to associate with the player. Protinex and Indian Oil were the rightful owners to associate with Prithvi, but how can any brand claim to be ‘Prithvi ka favourite…’ With such ambush marketing tactics you are not just cheating the star player who has backed his talent with years of hard work and perseverance to achieve what makes him a celebrity worth this commercial value, such brands are also not honest to the consumer when they claim that their product is ‘Prithvi ka favourite’,” Mishra said with an obvious reference to Amul, which in its ‘trademark’ punchline had attempted to associate with Prithvi on the biggest day of his career.

While Baseline Venture is considering legal action against other erring brands, Swiggy has confirmed to the Economic Times that they have received the notice from Baseline Ventures and their legal team was evaluating it. Swiggy in its defence has claimed that there was no infringement and the notice was sent on wrong facts.