India’s rising sportswomen and endorsements

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Brands picking up sportspersons to endorse their products is not a new thing. Successful sportsmen and women are seen in many advertisements on platforms like TVs, Social Media, Online media, etc., but which all brands are to be endorsed or not to is the question.

Brands race to rope in the women athletes, who are best, for their product endorsement and brand promotion. But what to choose to endorse and for how long? while speaking to the industry experts, there are things to speculate about.

The latest in the news are Indian sportswomen picking up medals in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, many have already started to make the most of their success. Youths have been inspired by these victorious sportswomen. Brands for ages have been trying to associate attributes like confidence and determination of these athletes to boost their image, and now is nothing different.

“Brands should be looking at these athletes as more than just a face. There should be an effort to build some valuable stories around these endorsements. It is a fact that brands in the ‘Superficial’ category, like deodorants, don’t have any stake here. The brands and financial sector like Adidas, Boost, etc., maybe a better fit.” Says Arun Raman, chief intelligence officer, GREY Group India.

“Brands ranging across various categories might be well suited for sportswomen. Any kind of brand, especially in the consumer and lifestyle space, will find these sportspersons to be perfect representatives of these brands. Brands that deal with food, personal care, fashion, nutrition, and lifestyle space will be the ones that are the best suited. However, other categories like BFSI, e-commerce, and travel, can also benefit from such an association.” Says Lloyd, Mathias, a business strategist, former Asia marketing head of HP, and an angel investor.

With good sports promoters, the popularity of these women will last for long periods. As one would hope that will be an ultimate contender during the upcoming Paris Olympics in 2024 too, given their achievements and potential in mind.

Instead of endorsements if the brands come up to sponsor them, they had hope that the sportswomen would last more than a season. The exemplary performance of the likes of Mirabai Chanu, Pooja Rani, Lovlina Borgobain, amongst others, have made the country proud, but they are still unlikely to strike deals like their male counterparts, that has been the story for ages, as sportswomen receiving only a small share of brand endorsement deals compared to men.

It’s going to take at least 3-4 years to see any changes, through consistent work. Talent management companies need to invest more in sportswomen to create and promote an ecosystem where the brands get attracted to their talent.

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