Thursday, November 14, 2013

Global Scope: Farewell to a Cricket Legend

At the end of the week, one of the greatest athletes of our time and a true cricket phenomenon will be playing his last test match ever, an unparalleled 200th! Ultimately it will be the last chance India fans have to watch their star batsman Sachin 'The Little Master' Tendulkar in action, since he has recently retired from T20s and One Day Internationals (ODIs) already. This could essentially mean the sun is setting for Tendulkar's gigantic brand, who's appeal basically dominated the big money game in India, selling a dozen of products every year. Actually, his brand allure was on full display this week after a massive crowd of people swarmed the Wankhede Stadium in Tendulkar's hometown of Mumbai in order to get tickets for his farewell match on November 14. Unfortunately for those fans only 6,000 tickets were being sold online, and the website offering the services ( crashed after a record 19.7 million hits were registered. This may seem as a surprise, but if you ask anyone in the streets of Mumbai what they think of Sachin Tendulkar, chances are they'll respond with a popular local saying: "Cricket is our religion and Sachin is our God."

It has been a long ride for 40 year old Tendulkar, who launched his cricket career at only 15 years of age playing for Mumbai in 1988. It was easy to see what kind of a cricket player he would become after he suited up for the first time. Playing against Gujarat at home, he scored 100 not out, which made him the youngest Indian to score a century on his first-class debut. Meaning he was directly responsible for 100 runs within one inning of play. The talented batsman amassed a multitude of world records along his 24 year run, making him the most adored cricket player in India. In addition to his on field talents, Tendulkar has lived an eccentric lifestyle off the field when compared to other athletes with global star appeal. 

Sachin Tendulkar, different from other cricket players, may still continue to capitalize on his brand post retirement. Now that his career is reaching an end, many brands have been trying to get involved with his final test match galore. Twitter is honoring Tendulkar by asking users to tweet him messages with the hashtag #ThankYouSachin in return for a digital autograph of the icon. Adidas and Coca-Cola have also made public statements about their planned continued support of Tendulkar, maintaining endorsement relationships.

However, similarly to star athletes around the world Tendulkar has landed a few multi-million dollar endorsement deals throughout his illustrious career. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Adidas, Toshiba, Canon, and Visa have been involved with Tendulkar, and together with his regular Cricket income he has reached #51 in Forbes' list of Highest Paid Athletes in the world. 

It is impossible to know how his final test match will go against a strong West Indies side, but this week the Tendulkar brand will be bringing India to a halt for one last time. And what did the man they call The God of Cricket have to say? He was just happy his mother (who has never seen her son play internationally) is going to watch him live from the spectator stands. 

1 comment:

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