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The rise of Brand Yuvraj

Last updated on: April 7, 2011 21:30 IST

The rise of Brand Yuvraj

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Varada Bhat in Mumbai

After he smashed India to World Cup victory, Yuvraj Singh has moved to a new orbit in the endorsement circuit.

"Jab tak balla chalta hai, thaat chalte hain. Warna " (as long as your bat does the talking, you are on top of the world. Otherwise ). When he first said this last year in a Birla Sun Life Insurance commercial that dealt with the insecurities of life, Yuvraj Singh was entirely believable.

Stung by loss of form which even led to his ouster from the Indian Test cricket team, Singh seemed to have become a lost case.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh.

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Most companies took the cue and dropped him from their campaigns. It included the likes of Pepsi, Fiat and Seagram.

"Last year, Singh's bad form and some negative news had directly impacted his image," says Rajneesh Ghai, CEO, Percept Talent Management.

But all that is now distant memory after he smashed India to cricket World Cup victory.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh holds the World Cup trophy.

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The rise of Brand Yuvraj

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The 'Man of the Tournament' is now clearly the Rs Man of the Moment' in the endorsement circuit.

"He has moved to a new orbit in the endorsement circuit and can easily command a 25-30 per cent premium now," says Bunty Sajdeh, CEO of Cornerstone Sports and Entertainment, the agency that manages Singh's endorsement deals.

As per industry estimates, Singh now charges around Rs 3-4 crore per endorsement deal.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh.

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"Singh's brand value will now be on par with M S Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar," Sajdeh says. That may not be correct as Dhoni, who already has at least 23 brands in his portfolio, commands around Rs 10 crore per year per brand.

But no one doubts the re-emergence of Brand Yuvraj. According to leading sports marketing agents, at least five new beverage and automobile brands have shown interest in signing up the left-hander as their brand ambassador.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh.

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The deals are likely to be closed soon and Singh will be seen with new brands during and after IPL. At present he endorses brands such as Reebok, Revital and Birla Sun Life.

Brands, which had dropped him earlier, are now keen to sign him on. For example, Fiat, which had earlier roped in the southpaw to promote its hatchback Punto, is now considering re-engaging him.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh with M S Dhoni.

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One brand that stood by Singh during his lean period was Revital. It's quite obvious that Ranbaxy, the owner of the brand, didn't lose any time to capitalize on his new-found success.

Brijesh Kapil, Vice President, Ranbaxy Global Consumer Healthcare, says the company has launched an aggressive marketing campaign immediately after the World Cup on a 360 degree platform focusing on TV, print, outdoor, online and digital space.

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Image: Yuvraj in Revital advt.

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"After a tough phase, he has suddenly become a star performer and the man of the World Cup. Since we have been with him during his tough phase without caring what people said, we think that this is the time to give everybody a fitting response, just like Yuvraj has done with his performance." Kapil says.

So expect more high-voltage promotional activity from Revital surrounding the master all-rounder.

Percept's Ghai says typically, in India where cricket is much more than game, a player's on-field performance is directly proportionate to his endorsements.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh in Birla Sun Life advt.

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"With his huge comeback and youthful image, he is set to become a hot property in the endorsement market," he adds.

Explaining Singh's comeback, Anirban Das Blah, COO, KWAN Entertainment & Marketing Solutions, says after the World Cup win, there is a huge emotional connect at the moment with cricket. Since Singh has scripted a dramatic turnaround on such a big stage, most brands will definitely want to ride the wave.

His Casanova image, which was looked down upon when his on-field performance was bad, will now suddenly add to his youthful appeal. That's what success does," says an image manager.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh.

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