As children we all felt pride to own bats of the brand used by famous cricketers. Be it MRF or Adidas for Sachin Tendulkar, Puma for Suresh Raina, or Reebok for MS Dhoni there used to be fans in our circle who used to get the latest model every time the company releases one. At the least we’d sticker our old bat.
We believed these good bats brought the best of our favorite batsmen. We believed using these bats would bring us close to their level. None told us that these famous players are paid to put the company’s logo on their plain willow. YES. Players play with a plain willow.
NIKE WITHDRAWS AS CRICKET INDIA’S MAJOR SPONSOR
How many of us wanted to own this cool looking bat? Well if you’ve ever wanted to buy one of these bad boys get it in the store while stocks still lasts. Because you won’t be finding any of these in the stores in the near future.
Owing to almost 500 crore losses in the year 2014-2015 Nike India has decided to withdraw from sponsoring cricketing bats and few other apparels to the Indian Cricket Team. They’re more likely to focus on other growing Indian sports like kabaddi, football and sorts where the stakes for winning a sponsorship big wouldn’t be that high.
This means many of our famous players including Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja would be seen using a non labelled bat till they find a suitable sponsor. This was quite observed in the last New Zealand series. Players like Manish Pandey, Axar Patel and Umesh Yadav who sported a Nike bat were seen using a plain non branded willow while Kedhar Jadav another batsman who was sponsored by Nike used a bat with the Nike logo on it.
This move was taken after Puma which brought its ‘Tricks’ range of ‘footy’ footwear into India ended up wooing around 60% cricketers and some umpires to wear these bright Puma shoes during the last IPL,
The entire cost of advertising was around 14 lakhs which seemed too meager compared to Nike India’s 70 crore annual sponsorship of BCCI.
Even Adidas has decided to use this trend by venturing into sports such as kabaddi,football and tennis – much cheaper alternatives to cricket.
This is a good sign about famous companies deciding to venture into growing sports in India. This move would not only be a cheaper form of marketing but also would do better with the lives of growing sport talents in India.