Editor’s Pick: Brand “MS Dhoni”: Not going anywhere anytime soon.

MS Dhoni’s retirement is unlikely to affect his commercial value as the veteran cricketer remains an attractive prospect for leading brands.

On 15th August 2020, at 07:29 pm, Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. Although he has retired from on-field, he remains a big name off the pitch in terms of commercial value. Despite retiring from international cricket, Dhoni-the brand remains a strong attraction and continues to grow.

Dhoni played his last ODI for India on 9th July 2019 against NZ in World Cup 2019. Since then, there has been constant speculation surrounding his future in the Indian team as he was not picked in the squad for multiple tournaments. He was tipped to play the T-20 World Cup in Australia this year, but the pandemic has postponed the event, bringing down curtains on Dhoni’s illustrious career.

Retirement is unlikely to make an impact on Dhoni’s commercial value as he remains an adored public figure, making him an ideal ambassador for different brands. In 2019 alone, the 39-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman endorsed 44 labels. To put things into context, Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian team, managed to bag 43 deals in the same year.

In a wide array of deals, Dhoni’s endorsement agreements with Dream 11, ITC Noodles, Snicker, Indigo Paints, Master Card, Bharat Matrimony, Gulf Oil, and TVS stand out.

Since January 2020, he has signed deals with the Association of Mutual Funds in India, Khatabook, Oppo, and online poker company Poker Stars. He reportedly charges ₹5 crores per brand deal, making him one of the most expensive sports personalities in India. Moreover, Dhoni remains the face of IPL along with other Indian stars.

IPL is the perfect platform for brands to reach out to a greater audience, so players can leverage this situation in their favour. The popularity of Dhoni in the country helps him to land much better deals every year.

In the ongoing IPL campaign in UAE, Dhoni is the most popular face in the ongoing advertising campaign. He has been involved in campaigns with Oppo, Go Daddy and Dream11. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Dhoni would sign more deals during the course of the tournament. Along with good audience reach, MSD is also one of the most successful captains of IPL, so brands would like to leverage their brand image and recall through this association.

AdEx India, a unit of TAM Media Research that ranks celebrity-endorsed ads, listed Dhoni at the second spot in its July rankings, six positions up from the previous month and higher than Bollywood actors such as Amitabh Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor. Virat Kohli is leading the list as of now.

IPL 2020 has also seen significant growth in the number of sports celebrities turning up for endorsement deals, as compared to previous editions. Dhoni is currently leading with more commercials than any cricketer or celebrity.

It remains to be seen whether Dhoni will feature in next year’s IPL, but there are no doubts that his commercial value is unlikely to deplete anytime soon.


By Archil Katiyar

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