The big victory for PV Sindhu in Basel over the weekend brings with it a lot more than the BWF World Championship gold medal. It brings an occasion for fans and badminton fraternity to celebrate India’s maiden gold medal at the BWF World Championships. It brings with it a belief of an Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo 2020. It has given an instant spark to the market and brands to reignite the demand for Indian sports biggest female brand icon.
Sindhu has emerged the biggest female athlete in the country by the sheer size of her achievements, the number of brands she endorses and the magnitude of her deals. Her achievements ever since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games has been phenomenal – five consecutive medals in the BWF World Championships, the season-ending BWF World Tour crown, the Commonwealth Games final and mixed team championship gold.
The world championship crown transforms the hope of an Olympics gold medal next her into a belief that Sindhu can do it. Sindhu undoubtedly has climbed the peak at the right time for the brands to warm with their Olympic plans with one of India’s biggest bets at the gold in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“A win at this time will surely give that impetus to the brands to look at Sindhu in a more positive manner if these brands are looking at building a campaign in run up to the Games and be a part of chasing the Olympic dream which every sports lover of our country has,” says Tuhin Mishra, managing director and co-founder of Baseline Ventures, the managers of Sindhu’s brand and commercial portfolio.
The views are endorsed by brand guru Harish Bijoor, founder, Harish Bijoor Consults. “Sindhu has climbed the peak for sure. Today she has emerged to be the most bankable woman in sports in India. With Tokyo not far away, it’s time for brand-endorser Sindhu to command the right prices,” says Bijoor. “Expect a blip in fee for sure. A 50% upside on new short term contracts is not difficult at all.”
Mishra, however, maintains his stand of not putting a tagline on the brand value for Sindhu, whose current endorsement fee is reported to be between ₹ 1 crore and ₹ 1.5 crore. “She will command a certain value that will be determined by market dynamics,” says Mishra.
Sindhu has already set a national record for a non-cricket endorsement deal with her four-year, ₹ 50 crore tie-up with the Chinese badminton and apparel brand Li-Ning. Her annual ₹40 crore contracts include brands like JBL, Bridgestone, Moov, Bank of Baroda, Panasonic Batteries, Myntra and Gatorade.
Run up to the Olympics will see the Sindhu’s brand value being driven by the economics of demand and supply as more and more brands will look to derive home the mileage on her potential to win a gold medal at the Olympics in less than a year from now.
Talking points an icon creates translate into direct gains for brands associated with the celebrity. Sindhu since this Sunday has been the biggest talking point of Indian sports. Even on the day when Jaspreet Bumrah captured five Test wickets for just seven runs. On the day when Team India have started their ICC World Championship campaign on a winning note and on the day when the Ashes series has seen one of the biggest fight backs as England prevailed over Australia with a 76-run unbeaten stand for the last wicket.
Consistency is the name of the game. She has played five consecutive BWF World Championship finals. She has consistently bettered the colour of her World Championship medals. Now is the time to change the Olympic silver to the gold. Sindhu and her mentors are well aware what it takes to raise the bar at the top level.
“Badminton is my passion and I feel that I can win more titles,” Sindhu has asserted as she returned home with the gold from Basel.