The bronze medal at the London Olympics is reaping rich dividends for Saina Nehwal. She has snapped up a Rs. 40 crore deal with a sports management company.
With this move, she becomes the highest paid non-cricket sportsperson in the country.
Saina, 22, signed the deal with Rhiti Sports Management after her three-year contract with the Deccan Chargers ended this month. Since the cash-strapped Chargers made no move to renew it, the badminton ace signed up with Rhiti Sports, which also represents India cricket captain MS Dhoni."I am very happy to be associated with Rhiti Sports and look forward to start a working relationship with them. With Rhiti's background and credibility, they know how to balance things and that is a big plus point," Saina said.
“The strides Rhiti has taken in the Sports industry in recent times made it an easy choice for me. I would like to also thank, Mr Vinod Dhawan, Vice President Badminton Association of India, who played a key role in helping form this association,” she added. Rhiti Sports will now manage Saina's endorsements and brand associations, corporate profile, patents and digital rights, images and all other commercial rights exclusively.
Saina's recent success in the international badminton circuit has made her a much sought after star and her brand value has increased significantly over the past year.