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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Test loss won't hurt Team India's brand equity: Experts

Test loss won't hurt Team India's brand equity: Experts

Last updated on: August 24, 2011 21:01 IST

'Defeat or success, nothing affects the value of Indian cricket'

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The 4-0 thrashing by England in the just-concluded Test series will not have much impact on the brand value of Indian cricket, although in the short-term, viewership may take a temporary hit, according to advertising experts and marketers.

"Defeat or success, nothing affects the value of Indian cricket. Despite the recent defeat, it will be business as usual," Madison World Chairman and Managing Director Sam Balsara said.

He, however, hastened to add: "There could be some reduction in the viewership for some time, but the value of cricket, the endorsement market (and) advertisers appetite to spend on the game and for signing up cricketers as brand ambassadors will not come down."


Image: Indian players react after losing the fourth Test

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Indian cricketers' brand value has gone up by 25-30 per cent

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Expressing a similar sentiment, Harbhajan Singh's business manager and close associate Sangeet Shirodkar said: "In 2007, India lost the World Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2009, and everybody said that the team's brand value will decline, but it did not happen."

The same is the case this time too. Enquiries are coming in regularly for endorsements. The fact is that Team India is a world champion (in the one-day format) for the next four years, he added.

After India's World Cup victory earlier this year, Indian cricketers' brand value has gone up by 25-30 per cent.

Shirodkar said: "We don't see that coming down."


Image: Indian players after winning the World Cup

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'Sachin's own brand equity is much bigger than a game or two'

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Canon India Senior Vice-President Alok Bharadwaj also felt advertisers would continue to associate themselves with cricket in India, despite the recent setback in the Test series in England.

"Purely from a marketer's point of view, it does not matter. The viewership will not get impacted and the business of sports will carry on the way it has been. Sachin's own brand equity is much bigger than a game or two," Bharadwaj said.

Canon has Tendulkar as its brand ambassador and was looking forward to the maestro's 100th international century during the India-England series, although it did not materialise.

"We were hoping for Sachin to strike his 100th century to launch a campaign -- '100 delightful moments of cricket' -- but now that it has not happened, we are calling our campaign, '99 captured ones and one more to go'," he said.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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'It will definitely have a negative impact in the short term'

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On the other hand, some experts believe that the heavy loss to England will lead to a dip in cricket viewership in India.

"It will definitely have a negative impact in the short term... Fans of the sport are deeply disappointed and it might have an impact on the viewership of the game," Futurebrands CEO Santosh Desai said.

Apart from ordinary fans, some corporate honchos have expressed disappointment over the team's performance in England.

Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw had tweeted after Tendulkar missed his century in the last Test saying: "Pity that Sachin didn't get his century and even Mishra was unlucky, but what happened to the rest? We don't even deserve to be in the top 5!"

In another tweet, she vented out her anger: "Indian cricket team shd (sic) go on a month-long fast to beg forgiveness of the nation!"

United Breweries chief Vijay Mallya also shared his feelings through tweets. "The Great Indian batting collapse yet again heading for another defeat and Test series whitewash... very sad," he said in a tweet.

Mahindra & Mahindra Vice-Chairman Anand Mahindra, however, saw positives in India's defeat. "Silver lining? This series will help reverse the waning interest in cricket in England. That prevents the game becoming a South Asian sport!", he tweeted.


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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