Nutrition and health, beverages, electronics and headphones companies, in particular, are keen to sign up Shami as their brand ambassador, said Saurajit Chatterjee, founder of Flair Media, a Kolkata-based athlete and sports management company which represents the 33-year-old right-arm fast bowler.
“We are looking forward to closing some major brand deals soon,” Chatterjee told ET. “There are mails and calls coming every alternate day for the last two-three weeks for associations, ranging from yearly brand endorsements to social media collaborations to physical appearances post the World Cup.”
In this World Cup, Shami has picked up 23 wickets in six matches, including three fifers, after being left out of the playing squad in the first four matches. He also became the quickest bowler in World Cup history to reach the 50-wicket milestone.
While Chatterjee did not disclose any financial details, industry executives said Shami’s endorsement fees has doubled from Rs 40-50 lakh per endorsement within the duration of the ongoing tournament.
His existing brand deals include those with sportswear firm Puma, Hell Energy Drink and Vision 11 fantasy app, all of which have struck gold with their association with the speedster given his exploits in the tournament.
“Shami storm has hit Wankhede,” said a post on X (previously Twitter) by Puma India, which had signed up Shami as its brand ambassador for footwear, apparel and accessories just before the World Cup.
The company had timed the launch of its bowling spikes, which come with mid-soles meant for runners and for supporting fast bowlers, with the engagement with the pacer.
Puma India put out nearly a dozen tweets and photos Thursday.
“To onboard someone like Shami has definitely done wonders for the brand… with him wearing a Puma spike and taking those wickets. We feel this will definitely have a huge impact on budding cricketers,” Chatterjee said.
For the other brands associated with Shami, too, the past fortnight has been exceptional.
“We are privileged to associate with a talent like Shami who represents the pulse of India,” said Unnikannan Gangadharan, country head, Hell Energy Drink.
Experts said Shami’s sensational comeback in the World Cup, reflecting his “phenomenal grit”, make for a compelling story for any brand to associate with. Earlier, he had bitter incidents in his personal life when his wife accused him of match-fixing and harassment, he suffered head injuries in a road accident and has been subjected to vicious trolling by a section of people for his religion. “In today’s environment, when Shami is always going to be vulnerable for something he cannot control unfortunately – his religion – his grit has been phenomenal,” said social commentator Santosh Desai.
Shami’s seven-wicket haul on Wednesday, along with Virat Kohli’s 50th one-day international century, when India defeated New Zealand in the semi-final at a packed Wankhede Stadium, which saw the who’s who of Mumbai in the stands wearing the blue India jersey, broke the internet.
Dozens of brands across categories put out social media posts on X and Instagram. Even Delhi Police tweeted from its official handle, addressing Mumbai Police, “Hope you do not book Shami for tonight’s assault.”
Karthik Balagopalan, managing director at Puma India, said, “Shami is an outstanding fast bowler with an impressive track record across cricketing formats. His relentless courage, unwavering spirit and the finesse he brings to the game perfectly resonates with our brand values.”
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