Legendary former Indian skipper MS Dhoni announced his retirement in August this year, but that didn’t stop him from being one of the highest paid and most successful figures in Indian cricket.
MS Dhoni has built a brand for himself that is now bigger than ever, and is on its way to only grow bigger. The cricketer is currently the face of 16 brands, according to the data released by TAM Sports, a division of TAM Media Research, reports Financial Express.
Based on industry estimates, Ambi Parameswaran, founder, BrandBuilding.com told BrandWagon Online, that Dhoni earned over Rs 100 crore, even going up to Rs 150 crore from his deals. “Dhoni has been able to reposition himself as an actor. In every ad he appears as a different personality and embodies the essence of the brand itself, thereby inspiring trust.”
According to some industry experts, Dhoni has managed to supersede rivals like Virat Kohli in the endorsement race, especially during the IPL season. Dhoni has become a bigger brand than any other cricketer, carrying the popularity of CSK completely on his shoulders. “If we look at the IPL specifically, Dhoni has always been the bigger brand when compared to Virat, and that is the reason why most of his endorsements are active during the IPL. Dhoni transcends socio, cultural and economic barriers, to an extent that he almost single-handedly fuels CSK’s fandom,” Ajit Ravindran, co-founder and MD, Meraki Sport and Entertainment, stated.
“Depending on the advertiser, Dhoni charges brands anywhere between Rs 4-6 crore per day. Interestingly, despite announcing retirement, Dhoni has maintained his rates this IPL,” Bhairav Shanth, co-founder and MD, ITW Consulting Private Limited, added.
Sure, this could all be a phase, some may even explain this being blinded by Dhoni’s current status. But experts like Shanth believe this won’t be ending soon. “Brands would naturally want to take a punt on any property while it is still relevant and hot, but in Dhoni’s case some of the deals do run for longer than just a season. He’s always been a top of the mind brand recognised in the remotest corners of the country even among casual cricket followers. The retirement announcement may have provided a small spike but I think most brands have signed Dhoni because if there was a perfect “off-season” brand ambassador it would be Dhoni due to the accumulated top of mind recall he has been able to cultivate over the years,” Shanth explained.