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SBD Global/September 20, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Badminton Player Signs $7.4M Deal To Become India's Highest Paid Athlete Outside Of Cricket

Badminton player Saina Nehwal signed a three-year deal worth Rs 40 crore ($7.4M) with sports management firm Rhiti Sports, according to Shivani Naik of the INDIAN EXPRESS. The deal makes Nehwal "the highest paid non-cricketer" from India, as well as one of the world's top earners in the sport. Chinese men's singles Gold Medalist Lin Dan is reported to earn about Rs 12.8 crore ($2.4M) annually in net earnings, while Malaysian Lee Chong Wei's figure is approximately Rs 8.7 crore ($1.6M). Nehwal, a London Games Bronze Medalist, "is easily India's most recognised sportswoman," who currently boasts eight endorsements. Badminton Association of India VP Vinod Dhawan helped establish the deal with the firm "that has til date primarily managed cricketers." Nehwal's three-year deal with Deccan Chronicle ended on Sept. 1, and then it "all fell into place almost perfectly." Nehwal's father Harvir Singh said, "We gave DC time to renew the contract, but they couldn't get buck to us in time with a workable deal, so we went ahead and signed up with Rhiti" (INDIAN EXPRESS, 9/19).
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