Australia Superseries: Kidambi Srikanth being pursued for ad deals after back-to-back titles
Indian ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has caught the eye of top business firms after becoming the first Indian man to win back-to-back Superseries titles.
Indian ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth eased past reigning Olympic and World champion Chen Long in straight games to win his second successive and fourth Superseries title on Sunday. With this win, the current World No 11 clinched the top spot in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Dubai Destination Rankings and is likely to break into the top 10 by Thursday.
According to a report in Monday's Times of India, three renowned firms – a top tyre company, an FMGC major and a digital giant – have queued up to strike a deal with Srikanth. The 24-year-old will join the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, who have been in the mix for sponsorship deals after their success over the years.
The report further says that several companies have held talks with Baseline Ventures, the agency which manages Srikanth, for a possible deal. A top tyre company has asked him to be their brand ambassador, an FMCG major wants Srikanth to endorse its energy drink and a digital giant is reportedly in an advanced stage of negotiation. The deals are expected to fetch nearly Rs 5.4 crore in total and Tuhin Mishra, managing director and co-founder of Baseline Ventures, said they would soon make few announcements.
Moments after Srikanth's win over Chen, noted industrialist and diversified business conglomerate Mahindra Group chairman, Anand Mahindra said he would 'personally' hand over a TUV300 to the Guntur-born shuttler for winning the Australia Superseries title.
He responded to a tweet made by another user requesting Mahindra to offer Srikanth something.
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) June 25, 2017
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh to Srikanth for clinching the title in Sydney.
Srikanth extended his stellar run of form to become the first Indian male shuttler to win two consecutive Superseries titles.
Apart from Srikanth, the performances of other Indian players at the Superseries event were also impressive as B Sai Praneeth, Sindhu and Saina all made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
With inputs from PTI
The world number seven Indian will next play Hong Kong's world number 34 Cheung Ngan Yi in the group stage.
The soft-spoken Indian ace was not known for her aggression till five years back and it was chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, who had transformed her into an aggressive player ahead of the Rio Games.
Sindhu is one of the favourites for the gold, especially in the absence of defending champion Carolina Marin, who missed the Games due to an injury.