As Sachin Tendulkar retires from all forms of international cricket, the field seems open for the younger players in the team to take up his responsibilities, on and off the field.
The likes of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are seeing an increased interest from brands and the premium charged by established players such as Indian captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli will increase.
Sharma has already signed a Rs 2-crore yearly payment contract with a leading sports goods brand. While Tendulkar will continue to be its face, Sharma will be seen endorsing it on his jersey and bat, as the batting maestro did during his years on the field.
"It will mostly be like a mentor and protege thing," says a professional from the sports celebrity management sector.
"The timing, in my opinion, for Rohit could not have been better. He has had a very good year in all formats of the game. He has proved that he is maturing with each game. This makes him a good choice for services and products like insurance, technology and real estate," says Firoz Engineer, business head at Balaji Spark.
He had earlier handled a number of sportspersons while working as vice-president at Globosport.
Sharma also currently endorses Lays, Seagrams' Royal Stag (music) and Nasivion (nasal drops).
According to sector estimates, the endorsements have come at a fee of Rs 1-1.25 crore a year.
This is a sharp jump from the Nike shoe endorsement deal the player had until August this year, for Rs 50 lakh annually.
"Virat, with his attitude on and off the field, has filled the shoes of the 'bad boys of cricket' like Ganguly and Dhawan. The rustic image around him has potential to go the Dhoni way, with a massive appeal. This leaves a clear field for Rohit to take on the image of the sophisticated, cool and collected player, like Sachin and Dravid have in the past," says Bunty Sachdeva, promoter, Cornerstone (the company that manages Rohit Sharma).
Text: Urvi Malvani, Business Standard
Image: Rohit Sharma looking dapper in a Shantanu and Nikhil creation.
Image Courtesy: Rohit Sharma