Mahendra Singh Dhoni dropped a bombshell on December 30, last year, by announcing his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect, but Brand Dhoni will continue to play a long innings.
For one, he will continue to play for India in one-day internationals and twenty20 matches. Second, with the world cup in Australia and New Zealand coming up, his brand image will get a huge facelift. Experts say Brand Dhoni has acquired a universal appeal that isn't dependent on cricket alone.
Currently, the cricketer endorses 20 brands and is in the final stages of negotiations to sign a couple more in the first quarter of 2015. Typically, his endorsements are for three to five years, but brands rarely let go of the man once they sign him.
Dhoni endorses brands across sectors from telecom (Aircel) to automobiles (TVS Motor), fast-moving consumer goods (Pepsi), consumer durables (Orient PSPO and Videocon), sportswear/footwear (Reebok) and sports accessories (Australia-based Spartan Sports).
Not only does he endorse the highest number of brands, he is also the highest paid in this segment. According to estimates, Dhoni's annual fees stand at Rs 12 crore a brand. His closest competitor, cricketer Virat Kohli, charges about Rs 10 crore a brand, a year.
Text: Urvi Malvania, Business Standard
Image courtesy: TVS Star City Plus