Sachin Tendulkar's year-long wait for his 100th century may have left him mentally drained and millions of fans fatigued but the brand value of India's biggest sporting icon is as solid as ever.
In fact, the remarkable milestone could attract four or five fresh endorsements and add to the 17 endorsements which Indian and multi-national companies have with the country's most recognisable face.
As Tendulkar takes a pause before he hits the road for the Indian Premier League (IPL), retirement talk has receded although the team were knocked out of the Asia Cup final.
Tendulkar reportedly charges between $1-1.5 million per contract annually and is estimated to earn in the region of Rs90 crore annually from his endorsements.The sports management company which handles Tendulkar feels his stature has been such that his ups and downs on the field have not had much impact.
"We've always felt his value has been indexed to his legendary stature. His 100th century reinforces it doesn't impact current valuation," says Harish Krishnamachar, senior vice-president and country head of WSG, which inked a five-year deal with Tendulkar in 2007.
Krishnamachar feels Tendulkar's amazing consistency and focus on long-term endorsements have been the main feature of his brand value.
"He has always been viewed as an icon who appeals to the youth based on his self-made, Indian of today, hardworking and dependable image. As such, he has been seen as an inspiration for Indians and people of Indian origin all over the world."
Anxiety did gnaw at the master batsman as he chased that elusive century after the World Cup triumph. Although Tendulkar is in the twilight of his international career, the enormous goodwill he enjoys has helped tweak some of his endorsements to ensue it can go beyond his playing days.
"As a player, he has probably had the longevity none has had. And the second wind since 2008 has been spectacular. Tendulkar has also by and large been untouched by any controversy," he added.