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Brand Sachin still going strong

Despite a dry run with the bat, injuries and age, the master blaster remains the biggest brand in Indian sport.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 15:32 IST

Sachin Tendulkar remains the biggest brand in Indian sport -- despite a dry run with the bat, injuries and age. This has been underlined by his three-year extendable contract with management firm ICONIX, which was announced on Wednesday.

Neither ICONIX, a branch of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, nor Tendulkar spoke about the worth of the deal. But sports marketing sources said the cricket legend would earn Rs 180 crore from it.

Tendulkar's landmark contract with WorldTel, which expiredin 2005, was in the region of Rs 100 crore.

Asked by HT about Sachin commanding a high price despite, as some would say, his having passed his prime, V Shantakumar, CEO and MD of Saatchi and Saatchi, said: "Sachin is more than just a cricket player. He's a role model for young and old India."

"He's still the nation's youth icon and he's still considered by cricket pundits as the world's best batsman. The value he commands comes from the respect and love people feel for him," he said.

Asked if Rs 180 crore was an accurate figure, Shantakumar said, "Rs 180 crore is a nice sum, but I am not going to say more."

Tendulkar is ICONIX's first client and the icon said he was "delighted" about the new venture. "I've entrusted it with managing my affairs and have confidence in its ability to provide requisite continuity to the brands I am associated with," he said.

First Published: May 04, 2006 01:19 IST