Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, "regarded as a demi-god in India," will hang up his boots after playing his 200th Test match next month, according to Pinto & Mitra of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Will Tendulkar "remain the darling of advertisers as he has been through the years?" His agency managing his endorsements, namely, World Sport Group, said that "it has already factored in the batsman's retirement plans in their deals." WSG Senior VP & Country Head Harish Krishnamachar, implying that brands are not likely to desert him in a hurry, said, "The transactions we do for Sachin are normally those that are at least three years and above. Quite a few of them have been with Sachin for a while." Advertisers such as adidas, Coca-Cola, Toshiba and Aviva, who work with him, have said, when contacted, that "they have no plans to drop the ace cricketer." Adidas India Brand Dir Tushar Goculdas: "Sachin is one of the greatest the game has seen and he will continue to be an inspiration to many." Coca-Cola India said, "Sachin's appeal cuts across boundaries, genres and geographies. He is an icon of happiness much like Coca-Cola, and we will continue to look towards him for spreading happiness." Sports managers say that with Tendulkar's visibility coming down post-retirement, "chances of him charging a premium for his ads and appearances will increase." Krishnamachar hinted that Tendulkar's off-field exploits "will grow following retirement." Krishnamachar: "Brand Sachin transcends cricket. It is a name that has enough credibility to invoke trust and confidence. As an active cricketer, Sachin has barely had the time. Post retirement, he will have time on his hands" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 10/10).
CURTAIN CALL: In New Delhi, Aabhas Sharma wrote the Board of Control for Cricket in India "expects a full house" in Tendulkar's last two test matches, against the West Indies. What more "could brands and media planners want?" There "are all the ingredients to make the occasion ripe for picking." Indian ad film Dir Prahlad Kakkar said: "It is going to be one of the most anticipated events of the year." He feels that Tendulkar is more than a brand -- "an icon, for over two decades" -- and it is natural of everyone to rush to earn from his game, one last time. Adidas will launch an "SRTforever" campaign, "which will be released a few days before the two-Test series against the West Indies begins." Other brands, too, "are looking to do special campaigns around Tendulkar's exit." But "they refuse to divulge much." An exec of a fast food brand Tendulkar currently supports said, "We have plans, of course, but it's a bit early to reveal them." Media planners "are working on new rates for TV ad spots." A Mumbai-based media planner said, "Generally, Test matches don't garner too many eyeballs and the rates are not so high. But this one will be different." Future Brands CEO Santosh Desai said, "This isn't comparable with the World Cup but the magnitude of the event is certainly not to be underestimated." A 10-second ad spot during a Test series usually goes for around Rs 50,000 ($800), "but for Tendulkar's farewell series, the costs are likely to touch at least" Rs 80,000 ($1,300) (BUSINESS STANDARD, 10/13).