Friday, February 06, 2009

Sania - pay goes up

Sania Mirza's victorious streak at the Australian Open with Mahesh Bhupathi seems to have served up aces in a completely different arena - ad circuit.

Sania is set to sign two new ad deals besides an estimated 25- 30 per cent jump in endorsement fee.

"Winning major events such as the Australian Open always has a positive effect.

A couple of new deals with an automotive company and F& B major will be announced very soon," says Anirban Das Blah, VP, Globosport, which handles her account.

Das also confirms that the companies are "offering more and more money" but Sania is focused on getting her ranking back. "She is intent on being fully fit to play her best tennis. Rather than deals, Sania wants to concentrate on the game," adds Das, who feels Sania has a huge year ahead with a line- up of brands.

Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, on the other hand, feels there is a lot of excitement in the market because of the win Down Under.

"Sania is a young, successful and modern woman which will always put her in good stead. Plus, this Indian victory in an unexpected territory came as a surprise," explains ad whiz Kakkar.

Sania's endorsement kitty boasts of six brands - including Sprite, Deutsche Bank, Adidas, Tata Tea and GVK Industries - with the fee in the range of Rs 1 crore per deal. "The biggest challenge for Sania is to be consistent in her performances.

If she can't be steady, the 'star' status won't be easy to grab like Indian cricketers. She just has to capitalise on this big win now," adds Kakkar.

What's interesting is market experts believe Brand Sania took a beating during her absence from the court due to the injury.

Das, however, refutes it saying the tennis ace renewed deals with Sprite and Deutsche Bank within few months. "If Sachin Tendulkar doesn't perform in two tournaments, Brand Sachin is hardly damaged. The same goes for Sania whose brand value can't be linked to a lull period," says Das.

Also, few marketers believe the economic slowdown will play a spoilsport with Sania as well as Mahesh not to be bombarded with deals as expected after a major win. "No company would like to pump in money at a time when the financial crunch is already putting pressure.

They would rather wait for the dust to settle down before offering deals," says an industry insider.

Courtesy: Mail Today  

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