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SBD Global/February 17, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Questions Linger About Whether Retired Indian Cricketer Should Go To Bat For Brands

India's United Progressive Alliance government "decided to confer" the country's high civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, on retired cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, according to Aabhas Sharma of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Tendulkar "became the first sportsperson to receive the honour." Now, "a fresh debate has broken out." As a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, "should Tendulkar be featuring in advertisements and endorsements?" Harish Bijoor Consults CEO and brand expert Harish Bijoor "is of the opinion that the cricketer should not do commercial endorsements any more." Bijoor: "The Bharat Ratna has a certain prestige and honor which should not be belittled at any cost. So he should not be doing any endorsements for a commercial cause." Talent management company Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions COO Indranil Das Blah "agrees." Blah: "He isn't a salesman anymore, he is a statesman." Even if he wants to continue with endorsements, Tendulkar "should be more selective and cautious." Tendulkar currently endorses 14 brands, including adidas, Coca-Cola and BMW (BUSINESS STANDARD, 2/14).
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