Will Neeraj Chopra's brand endorsement fee cross this milestone? | Mint

Will Neeraj Chopra's brand endorsement fee cross this milestone?

Neeraj Chopra is the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in a track-and-field discipline.
Neeraj Chopra is the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in a track-and-field discipline.

Summary

  • Neeraj Chopra may see a 200% jump with his brand endorsement fees touching 1 crore, say experts
  • Wearables, e-commerce, auto, and consumer electronic brands may associate with Chopra

NEW DELHI : Neeraj Chopra, 23, who created history on 7 August by winning India’s first gold medal in athletics with a throw of 87.58 metres in men’s javelin at the Tokyo Olympics, is likely to witness a massive increase in his brand value and endorsement fees, said sports marketing executives.

At least two experts in the celebrity management field said Chopra, who charges an annual fee of 20-30 lakh per deal, may see a 200% jump with brand endorsement fees touching 1 crore, justifying his accomplishment. Chopra is the first Indian athlete to win an Olympic medal in a track-and-field discipline. He is also the second Indian to win a gold medal in the individual category of Olympic Games after Abhinav Bindra, who won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Parth Jindal, founder, Inspire Institute of Sport and director of JSW Sports, which manages Chopra, said he is thrilled that the spark they saw in him almost five years ago is now being recognized by the entire country and the world. “Even before the Olympics, Neeraj was an established athlete having won goal medals in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. He’s sponsored by a number of brands and, since last night, our team’s phones have not stopped ringing," he said.

Wearables, e-commerce, automobile, and consumer electronic brands are said to have shown interest in associating with Chopra.

A senior sports marketing executive said Chopra could easily command 1 crore per shooting. “So many brands would be interested in him, but he needs to be careful how he’s managing his time and how his commercials are being priced," the person said declining to be named.

He’s also good looking and comes across as carefree and fresh, the executive added. “He’s not exposed, so people don’t know what to expect from him. In terms of brand value, it won’t be a hyperbole to say if he does things right and positions himself well then he can be as big as a Virat Kohli."

So far, state governments, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and edtech firm Byju’s have announced cash rewards for Chopra. Many companies have also announced freebies, such as IndiGo’s unlimited free travel for a year and auto firm Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd gifting a brand new XUV700 to him.

Chopra, a junior officer in the Indian Army with the Rajputana Rifles, made his first mark at the international level with a world junior title in 2016. Two years later, he became the first Indian athlete to win the javelin gold at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. He is also the national record holder with 88.07-metre throw. He had also won a gold in the Junior World Championship and set U-20 World Record with 86.48-metre throw. He is also a 2018 Arjuna awardee.

Chopra has worked with brands such as Mobil India Lubricants, Gillette India, P&G, Amstrad AC, Country Delight Natural, Chinese smartphone maker iQOO India, sports drink brand Gatorade, and nutrition and supplement brand MuscleBlaze.

Celebrity managers said since age is on his side, Chopra has another decade to reach the top. His Olympic win has also translated into popularity in the virtual world with his social media following skyrocketing to touch over two million across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Jigar Rambhia, national director, sports, Wavemaker India, said his agency is receiving multiple queries for digital-only activations from brands with winning athletes, especially after Mirabai Chanu won.

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