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Is Rishabh Pant the soon-to-be blue-eyed boy of the brand world?

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Industry watchers discuss Pant’s brand value shooting up post the Test series win and his recent association with JSW Sports

It was a sight savoured by fellow-Indians and how! A freewheeling Rishabh Pant storming Australia’s Gabba fortress in record-breaking fashion, helping India snatch a three-wicket win to cap one of the greatest Test series of the modern era. Social media as we know has been abuzz with praises for Pant’s stunning victory. So what next for the cricketing star who is currently the talk of the entire country? Will his winning shot further soar up his brand image?

Industry watchers assert that Pant is likely to bag more brand endorsements with his brand value witnessing a high, post the Test series win.

Reports say that Pant has already been signed up for a talent management deal by JSW Sports. He will be the first cricketer to be managed by JSW Sports, which currently manages commercial rights of popular wrestling stars Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik. Pant also plays for Delhi Capitals in IPL, the franchise cricket team is jointly owned by JSW Group and GMR Group. News reports say that JSW Sports will manage the athlete’s image positioning and all his commercial engagements, including brand endorsements and appearances, social media monetisation and business deals.

Opines Harish Bijoor, Brand Guru & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, “Rishabh Pant has grabbed eyeballs today for sure. Expect it to translate into wallet bucks for sure in the brand endorsement circuit.”

JSW Steel on Wednesday last year announced Pant as their brand ambassador.

Jagdeep Kapoor, Chairman and Managing Director, Samsika notes that Pant as a brand will increase his perceived value after today’s performance against Australia in the victorious series. “His winning shot will further enhance his image. Aggression and Positive intent are his attributes in batting. His value will go up as a match-winner,” says Kapoor.

At the end of 2016, Rishabh signed a three-year multi-crore deal with sports equipment maker, SG. The brand has served as Rishabh’s bat sponsor, which he endorses across all forms of international and national cricket matches.

N. Chandramouli, CEO, TRA observes that post the victory, Pant is sure to dominate the ad pitch, “Rishabh Pant is a typical story of a small-town boy, having made an extremely successful sporting career at a relatively young age. His contribution to India’s win in the recent match was phenomenal and brings him to high noticeability of brands. Brands are always eager to catch a sporting endorser at such an important juncture, and also at an early stage so that they can grow with the growth of the sportsperson. And with an increase in the number of brands which want Rishabh as an endorser, his brand is likely to only soar from here on,” he remarks.

Pant also signed a personal sponsorship deal with Adidas cricket in February 2017.

Manish Porwal, MD, Alchemist Marketing and Talent Solutions has a different take. “While the win today was instrumental and will be long talked-about, expecting that someone’s brand value shoots up is not in accordance to how typically people see endorsements. Of course, he will be seen and get more chances in terms of brand associations but I don’t see this making a major difference as such,” Porwal says.

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Misbaah Mansuri

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