The Olympic fever is still very high. Brands and businesses are in a mad rush to feature the brightest faces for their social media campaigns and hashtags. Since the trend of India’s Olympic win is still very raw, this is a golden opportunity for companies to capitalise on the exposure and the coverage by showcasing inspirational faces like Neeraj Chopra and Mirabai Chanu.
Who is Neeraj Chopra?
Neeraj Chopra, is India’s newest Olympic Medallist who created history by bringing Gold for India after 121 long years. His spectacular win in the Men’s Javelin Throw event in Athletics is India’s first win in a Track and Field Event since a very long time. His Olympic debut brought immense glory to India when he scored the winning throw of 87.58 m on a second attempt. A junior commissioned officer in the Indian Army, he also goes by the title ‘Subedar Neeraj Chopra’.
Neeraj Chopra’s past brand connections
Country Delight Natural
A fresh cow and buffalo milk brand, Neeraj Chopra associated with the brand through an ad campaign before his Olympic win. He rendered his face and athletic training journey for the campaign and spoke about how farm-to doorstep delivery of fresh Cow milk helps athletes incorporate a healthy diet in their training regimen.
Neeraj has endorsed Gillette India’s ‘Barber Parivar Suraksha Program’ that covers Indian barbers and their families with Covid-19 insurance of INR 1 lakh. This programme is aimed at raising awareness about the struggles faced by barbers during the pandemic and supports their return to work while ensuring safety.
Mobil Lubricants India launched their ‘Farak Laakar Dekhiye’ campaign which was a Covid safety protocol awareness campaign. It featured the faces of Olympic bound athletes at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and Neeraj Chopra was also a part of it.
Other brand endorsements
Neeraj has endorsed multiple brands like Amstrad, Muscle Blaze, Gatorade, IQOO, JSW Sports, etc. through one-time campaigns or on a full-fledged endorsement basis. Post Tokyo, he is witnessing a surge in his brand value which will no doubt bring more names to the list.
The new golden boy for branding
Neeraj Chopra is the new face of advertisers as a sports superstar. He has a brand worthy face, is equipped with the skills and specialisation, and has two stellar titles to his name; those of being an Olympian and a Soldier. His win at the Olympics propelled him into the elite club of Indian sport brand personalities which include the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Sports Branding scenario in India
Who charges how much?
Virat Kohli, ace cricketer is one of the highest paid sport personalities when it comes to brand endorsements. He charges a whopping INR 1 Cr-5 Cr per brand. KL Rahul is also a very popular face among brands, and he gets INR 50 Lakh-1 Cr per brand for ads and endorsements. Hardik Pandya also charges INR 1 Cr for brand endorsement fees. PV Sindhu’s bronze at the Tokyo Olympics has upped her brand value. Her brand endorsement fees are now in the range of INR 1.2-4.5 Cr.
The biggies in sport branding
The biggies in sport branding have mostly been the top performers like Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom. But now brands are fighting to feature young and fresh faces for their campaigns either via high paid Instagram ads or quick television commercials. Mirabai Chanu was already leveraged by Dominos, and now Neeraj Chopra is slowly becoming a brand favourite.
Neeraj Chopra as the face of business
How much will he charge?
Up until he won the gold medal at Tokyo, Neeraj Chopra’s brand endorsement fees were an estimated INR 20-30 Lakh per year. However, after bringing home the gold, Neeraj may charge a tentative INR 2.5 Cr or higher.
Decoding his brand value
Neeraj Chopra has seen a 1000 per cent increase in his portfolio valuation after his Olympic victory. Brands across a variety of categories are approaching him at top speed and his portfolio is much more open. JSW Sports who manages his portfolio is expecting brand ambassador endorsement deals as well as digital-led deals in the coming future.
Neeraj Chopra’s brand endorsement fees were an estimated INR 20-30 Lakh per year.
What’s in it for me?
Sports sponsorships have been topping the list of brands and start-ups in India. Whether it’s the IPL, social media collaborations, or traditional TV adverts, sport personalities are a go-to favourite. Brand categories like men’s grooming products, clothing, gadgets, and footwear commonly feature popular faces in sports. Since start-ups have more funds to afford on such expensive marketing campaigns, they understand that the investment will come back manifold owing to the exposure and coverage their business will receive by making famous sportspersons the face of their brand.
Even small collaborations like sponsored Instagram posts fetch millions for sports personalities but significantly up the brand value for any business. It all depends on your fund allocation and marketing budget. As a start-up or small business, if you cannot afford the biggest names in the sporting world, there are many other budding sport personalities whom you can approach for collaboration. Due to the increasing number of sports academies in India like the Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, and Soccer Schools by Bengaluru FC (football club), more Olympic bound sports men and women are graduating. Identify popular faces and determine who has a strong social media or media presence, and approach them to advertise your brand.