As cricket lovers wait for the resumption of the annual extravaganza Indian Premier League (IPL), startups have begun onboarding top cricketers as their brand ambassadors. In a latest, Team India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, Virat Kohli will pad up for a new role as the brand ambassador of Gurugram-based edtech startup Great Learning.
Kohli’s appointment on Monday (September 15) coincides with digital payments giant Paytm, onboarding cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador.
Tendulkar and Kohli join the log list of Indian cricketers who have associated themselves with startups.
Cricketers As Brand Ambassadors
Virat Kohli: Great Learning, Himalaya Drug Company
Sachin Tendulkar: Paytm
Harbhajan Singh: eBikeGO
Rohit Sharma: BharatPe, Oakley and Noise
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Playerzpot, ASICS
Jasprit Bumrah: BharatPe, ASICS
Suresh Raina: BharatPe, WTF Sports
Ajinkya Rahane: ELSA Corp
Shardul Thakur: Tata Power
Shubman Gill: BharatPe, Protinex
Ravindra Jadeja: BharatPe
Shreyas Iyer: BharatPe
Prithvi Shaw: BharatPe
Sanju Samson: BharatPe
Mohammed Shami: BharatPe
Yuzvendra Chahal: BharatPe
Brett Lee: SportsAdda
Harsha Bhogle (commentator): Fantasy Akhada
Besides cricketers turning brand ambassadors, the startup ecosystem has been increasingly getting involved in cricket.
In 2019, Indian edtecGreat Learning h decacorn ($10 Bn valuation) BYJU’S set the trend when it took over from Chinese phone-maker Oppo as the official team sponsor for the Indian cricket. The deal allowed BYJU’S to display a commercial logo on the jerseys of the Indian men’s and women’s, the Under-19 and the A-teams.
Last month, fantasy sports platform Dream11 won the title sponsorship rights for the IPL 2020, with a bid of INR 222 Cr. Dream11 won the rights, after the league’s previous sponsor, Chinese phone-maker Vivo pulled out of sponsoring the 2020 edition, amid growing anti-China sentiment in India after border clashes between the two countries in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June.
Other Indian startups, such as digital payments decacorn Paytm, which is India’s highest-valued startup at $16 Bn in June 2020, is also title sponsor with the BCCI.
The list of Indian startups associated with the IPL also includes smaller firms, such as ecommerce store The Souled Store, and consumer electronics startup ‘boAt’, who are associated with various IPL franchises as merchandise partners. Dream11Great Learning