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Not glam enough?

No one is wooing CWG gold winners for brand endorsements.

entertainment Updated: Oct 21, 2010 14:05 IST

One century usually ensures stardom for cricketers — even lesser known ones — in the ad world. But, winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games has not worked the same magic for players of relatively less popular sports, who aren’t considered good enough or glamourous enough to attract big brands.

Even as a few of the Indian athletes who won medals at the Games — including shuttler Jwala Gutta, tennis player Somdev Devvarman and shooter Gagan Narang — have come under ‘consideration’ of talent management companies, no one has been signed up for any brand endorsement yet.

“Games played in CWG aren’t very popular with the masses. Even if they get any ads, these players can expect barely 5% of what an ace cricketer gets,” says celebrity manager Sonu Lakhwani.

For all her newfound popularity, badminton player Saina Nehwal has only one endorsement in her kitty. But, reportedly signed up for close to a crore, she is still better off than other medal winners. “While cricket captain MS Dhoni commands close to R5 crore per endorsement, players from the CWG will end up being offered barely R15 to R30 lakh,” says a marketing analyst, refusing to be named. Lack of mass appeal is being cited as a major factor. “A person has to be a known, glamourous face to be a brand endorser. It’s easy to write an ad script for a Dhoni, but a Gagan Narang has a long way to go,” says Manish Porwal, of the talent management firm, Alchemist.

“A lot of these CWG medallists are from villages, and need a lot grooming before they can be a success in the ad world,” says ad guru Prahlad Kakkar. “For advertisers, wrestling, archery and shooting are not glamourous sports,” says ad-maker Alyque Padamsee.

However, the new sport stars are still excited about the possibility of ads. “I think any kind of endorsements are welcome, as long as they are genuine,” says Gutta. “Offers are coming my way, but nothing has been finalised yet,” says Nehwal.

Big Earners
1. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar
Rs 4-5 crore

2. Cricketer MS Dhoni
Rs 4-5 crore

3. Cricketer Gautam Gambhir
Rs 30-50 lakh

4. Boxer Vijender Singh
Rs 20-30 lakh

5. Tennis ace Sania Mirza
Rs 1-2 crore