Badminton player PV Sindhu, who won silver medal at the Rio Olympics, has bagged a Rs 50 crore endorsement deal for three years from various companies, according to a report in The Times of India.
The report said the deals have been signed with Baseline Ventures, a sports marketing, entertainment and a brand licensing firm that is now managing Sindhu's brand profiling and licensing.
The company's managing director Tuhin Mishra has told the newspaper that the deal Sindhu got will be the best one a non-cricketer sports person can get.
"Even after achieving stupendous success, her humility and the value she brings to women power is remarkable," Mishra has been quoted as saying in the report.
As many as 16 companies had queued up to get Sindhu for their endrosements and finally the company has zeroed in on nine.
What is remarkable about the deal is that she has decided not to endorse brands with a 'negative' influence like cola brands, says the report.
Moreover, despite the valuable deals she is landing, Sindhu has also decided these will not affect her practice and will allocate only limited time for commercials.
Sindhu's endorsement deal win should not come as a surprise for she has shown great grit and strength of character through out her performance at the Olympics.
“She has won an Olympics medal and has shown tremendous grit while getting it,” Harish Bijoor, Chief Executive Officer of brand and business strategy firm Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, had told Firstpost earlier. According to Bijoor, she has what it takes to be a 'great' brand icon.
However, it has to be remembered that earlier Olympic medal winners such as Abhinav Bindra or Rajyavardhan Rathore met with little success when it came to bagging big-bang endorsement deals. Sindhu's deal win has to be seen in this context.
Two non-cricketer sports women, who have managed to get a good amount of endorsement deals, are badminton star Saina Nehwal, bronze medalist in 2012 Olympics, and tennis star Sania Mirza. As per the 2015 Forbes Celeb list, Saina's earnings from endorsements and BWF World Superseries stood at Rs 16.99 crore, while Sania, meanwhile, earned Rs 13.25 crore.
According to the magazine, Saina had inked a Rs 25 crore deal with IOS Sports & Entertainment for two years. It termed Sania as "India's most successful professional woman tennis player". Saina was ranked 39 and Sania 38 in the list.
If the ToI report is to be believed, Sindhu's earnings this year are likely to easily surpass that of both these sports persons, considering she has also received rewards worth about Rs 13 crore (as of 22 August) from various governments and well-wishers.
Indeed a new brand icon is in the making.