After winning the Indonesian Open last month, the current world no.2 Saina Nehwal received Rs.25 lakh cash prize from Andhra Pradesh CM K Rosaiah which is so far the biggest amount she has ever received.
However, this is going to change soon as ,Saina Nehwal, aged 20, is now poised to earn much more per brand association, as the three spectacular championship wins in quick succession has made her the ad world’s new poster girl, displacing tennis star Sania Mirza from the top spot.
Brand strategist Harish Bijoor says Nehwal’s brand value per endorsement has now touched Rs 30 lakh from Rs 6-10 lakh before she won the Indonesian Open on June 26. The value is likely to go up to Rs 1 crore if she clinches the number one position, which is now a distinct possibility, Bijoor says.
Jagdeep Kapoor, chairman and managing director of Samsika Marketing Consultants, estimates a 200 per cent growth in Nehwal’s brand value. And he is confident that it would go up by 1,000 per cent within a year.
While most say it is still some time before Nehwal signs up for endorsements as she wants to keep herself focused on the game, Bijoor thinks she would sign up some deals soon. “We keep an internal track on which celebrity could endorse what brand and we have come to know that a lot of agencies are looking at using Nehwal for endorsements,” says Bijoor.
He could be right for, Nehwal, who endorses just three companies/products at present, is being wooed by at least 12 big companies including a few multinationals. She became a brand ambassador last year for Deccan Chargers promoted by media group Deccan Chronicle. That three-year deal happened when Nehwal was ranked number six in the world.
Nehwal also endorses Herbalife India, a nutrition and direct selling company, and Bharat Meri Pehchaan.
Her fans would only hope that she stays focused on her game and brings more accolades to the country.