The Yuvraj of Indian cricket has become the Yuvraj of the endorsement industry, literally.
Last week, when selectors deliberated on his inclusion in the T20 World Cup, the advertising world could not but hold their excitement to rope Yuvraj Singh for a new innings.
"After the announcement of his comeback, there has been an overflow of enquiries where advertisers are eager to understand his brand strategy and availability," Bunty Sajdeh, CEO of Cornerstone Sports and Entertainment, the agency that manages Yuvraj's endorsement deals, told Hindustan Times
Contrary to popular beliefs, his health has not been a deterrent as far his brand value is concerned, rather his endorsement fee is expected to double, said experts.
"As he will get choosier about the brands, at least for the first six months, there would be a definite price escalation," said Sajdeh.
Yuvraj currently endorses 5 brands, which fetches him around Rs. 15 crore per year.
Four new brands from the auto, beverages and telecom sectors have shown interest in signing up the left-hander as their brand ambassador, said an industry insider.
"The rush is obvious as Yuvraj has undergone dramatic image makeover," said Kapil Arora, country head, Team Vodafone, advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather.
"Along with his flashy, flamboyant image, he has developed a mature and real-time fighter portrait, which opens several avenues and brand extensions," Arora added.
"Anything riding a sympathetic wave is always hot," said Navonil Chatterjee, vice-president, JWT, a top advertising agency based in the United States.
"His comeback will push interest levels up dramatically as the viewers are waiting to catch a glimpse of his performance post illness," Chatterjee added.