India's first ever female silver medallist PV Sindhu has been given a hero’s welcome on her return home, besides huge doles of cash and other rewards. With the Olympic medal have given a major boost to the world number 10’s brand value, companies are now making a beeline to sign up Sindhu for endorsements.
However, the player's brand management firm wants to go slow as it wants her brand valuation to rise further.
The silver medal at Rio Olympics has pushed Sindhu's brand value several notches and the badminton star is expected to announce a couple of endorsement deals soon.
Ramakrishnan R, co-founder and director of Baseline Ventures managing Sindhu's brand marketing, said though the endorsements were signed before Olympics, they did not want to announce them due to hectic schedule of the city-based badminton players for the preparation for the event.
"They are major endorsements at the national level. There have been couple of brand signed before Olympics. We could not announce them because of the Olympics preparation. So, we did not want to promote her more before Olympics. We may be announcing them during the second week of September," Ramakrishnan told PTI.
Baseline, the sports marketing company, also manages another badminton player Srikanth.
Sindhu became the first Indian woman athlete to grab an Olympic silver in the just-concluded event when she lost a close final clash against world No.1 Carolina Marin of Spain.
Harish Bijoor, an expert in brand and business strategy, said post-Olympics, Sindhu's brand value has gone up to Rs 2 crore which was fuelled by the cash awards given by various state governments.
"Two or three things have happened post Olympics. One is the cash awards she got by various state governments. Now all these add to the dimension of brand value of Sindhu.
“Because the moment a state government gives you Rs 5 crore, it means that the brand value goes much higher," Bijoor said.
"There are people (government and organisations) may be looking at offering money to Sindhu which are substantially larger. So all of a sudden Sindhu's brand value jumps to Rs 2 crore (post Olympics) from under Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh (per Olympics)," he said.
Soon after her win in Olympics, Telangana government felicitated Sindhu with Rs 5 crore cash and a residential plot in Hyderabad. The Andhra government led by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu presented her a cash award worth Rs 3 crore.
The AAP government in Delhi has also announced Rs 2 crore for the star badminton player, while public sector oil company BPCL has announced Rs 75 lakh cash. Various organisations have also announced different cash incentives to the player.
Bijoor further said unlike other sporting events, the win in Olympics will remain fresh in people's memory for more time and Sindhu will enjoy her brand image at the current levels till then.
"We are pouring with requests for endorsements by Sindhu. That is not what we think would be credible and grand association. We want to last long. Building brand takes years. So want to start slowly and add value to Sindhu which is very important. And also Sindhu is excited to work with us. Our intention is the brand valuation of Sindhu to go up," he further said.
(With inputs from PTI)