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Business News/ Industry / Brands ride on Sachin mania

Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar plays his 200th and last test match in Mumbai beginning on Thursday, and an entire industry has whirred to life in an attempt to cash in. After all, as has been proved over a priceless 24-year career, what cricket can sell, Tendulkar can sell better. ‘Forbes’ magazine pegged Tendulkar’s earnings at $22 million as of June 2012. Of this, prize money and earnings account for $4 million, while endorsements account for a lion’s share at $18 million.

“There is dearth of role models in this country who, for one, have a squeaky clean image and are credible. Plus, he’s announced his retirement, so there is all this sentimentality and emotion that everyone is awash with, which is probably why you are seeing everyone pile onto this opportunity; it is the last chance they have to juice the association dry," said Anuja Chauhan, an author and advertising consultant, who adds that while this strategy may work for brands such as Boost and Adidas that have had long associations with Sachin Tendulkar, it won’t really help those looking to jump onto the bandwagon for a free ride.

“It (the Sachin mania) has reached ridiculous levels," she said, adding that she deleted a message from her mobile service provider offering her a chance to download the “Sachin Anthem".

‘Mint’ presents a sampling of all the commercial activity around Tendulkar’s last Test match:

Adidas: Special #SRT (Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar for the uninitiated) T-shirt (1,299).

Luminous Power Technologies, whose inverters are endorsed by the cricketer: a limited-edition inverter., a travel website endorsed by Tendulkar: free cab rides (on cabs featuring their logo and Tendulkar) to Wankhede stadium for the lucky few that have managed to snag tickets for the match.

The Tata LitFest: an exhibition of unique cricketing memorabilia and a lecture on Tendulkar by sports writer
Boria Majumdar.

The India Today Group: organized on Tuesday, a “Salaam Sachin" conclave sponsored by Lava Mobiles, Jaypee Cement, Priya Gold biscuits, Amul Macho innerwear and Hero, among others. It featured former cricketers such as Shoaib Akthar and Waqar Younis speaking on “bowling to Sachin" and actor Abhishek Bachchan talking of about Tendulkar being a “real hero".

The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai: It is bathed in blue light every evening to mark the momentous last Test match.

Kailash Kher: A “Sachin Anthem".

eBay India: Sachin Tendulkar merchandise including limited-edition Sachin silver coins (20gm and 200gm), and other things such as books, posters, mobile phone cases, miniature bats, coffee mugs, tees, caps, wallets and much else. A 25kg art installation featuring 100 autographed Coca-Cola cans from Tendulkar’s “100th 100" at 5 lakh; a 199 notebook featuring his initials; pre-bookings for a special line including a bat signed by Tendulkar and Sir Donald Bradman at $6,000; autographed bats for $800; and autographed balls for $300.

Crossword bookstore: A bouquet of books on cricket including books on Tendulkar.

Reliance Life Insurance Retirement Solutions: Financial aid to Sudhir Kumar Gautam, the man who paints his entire body in the colours of the national flag and watches every match that he plays. According to the Reliance campaign, “Sudhir’s god is retiring. His devotion should not."

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Updated: 14 Nov 2013, 11:01 AM IST
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