Sourav Ganguly has climbed to third amongst the top cricket endorsers in the country behind Virat KOhli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With his recent endorsement for Tetley Dada, as he is popularly known, has eight brands in the bag and charges between Rs 1-1.5 crore for a four to five day engagement a year. He alsoendorses several other brands such as DTDC, Essilor Lenses, Senco Gold and Diamonds.
During his days as Indian captain, he was a much sought after cricketer when he endorsed for brands such as Tata Cafe, Hero Handa for his aggressiveness and the never give up spirit.Today he is seen as a popular ambassador of a game that has mass appeal. His appeal has also gone up with women and children, especially after his appearance on popular television shows in Bengal.
Ganguly’s brands include regional and national companies. He endorses everything from smartphones and laptops to tea and instead of getting him to shake a leg or mouth too many lines, the ads are playing on his present image of being a statesman of the game say experts. His popularity, especially in Bengal, is also drawing the brands in.
What has worked in Ganguly’s favour is that he has not faded from public view even after retirement. “Ganguly didn’t go into hibernation. Even after he retired from the IPL, he was involved through the CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) and anchored TV shows. In Bengal he is as popular as some of the biggest movie stars from the state, so he makes sense for a lot of brands (to want to hire him),” says Indranil das Blah, partner and COO at CAA KWAN, a sports and celebrity management company.
“Sourav has been an exceptional sportsperson. Today, even though he is not an active sportsperson, he still faces the pressure of ‘super human’ expectations that people have,” says Sushant Dash, regional president (India), Tata Global Beverages. Tetley has associated with Ganguly for their ‘Super Green Teas’ in India, which Dash believes will be a big growth driver for the category. The ads were first released online, on YouTube, Facebook, Hotstar and some health and wellness forums. “We are also doing print ads and are exploring on-ground activation as well,” Dash adds.
The industry pegs Ganguly’s fees at Rs 20-25 lakh a day for a commitment of four to five days a year. This is what current players, Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin charge and more than what Shikhar Dhawan commands. Of course, he does not come close to what MS Dhoni (Rs 8 to 10 crore a year) and Virat Kohli (Rs 10 to 12 crore a year) bring in. But if one compares Ganguly with the crop of retired players, he is leagues ahead. VV Laxman never really boarded the endorsement brand wagon, Dravid has consciously stepped away to focus on coaching and Tendulkar, charges around Rs 75 lakh a year. When he was playing, Tendulkar drew close to Rs 6 crore a year.
Kapoor believes that Brand Ganguly has a long life ahead, but das Blah does not agree. “It is quite clear he is serious about a career in cricket administration. If that is the case, once he is part of the BCCI, he won’t be able to endorse a lot of brands if there is a conflict of interest. So like they say, he should make hay while the sun shines,” he says.