SG’s marketing director, Paras Anand has revealed that MS Dhoni using SG’s sticker in the 2019 Cricket World Cup was his way of thanking the brands for supporting him throughout his career. He also added while they were hesitant in the first place, they allowed Dhoni to use their brand sticker.
A lot of things were talked about MS Dhoni during the 2019 Cricket World Cup, with respect to his place and future in the Indian limited-overs setup. While largely the tournament was viewed as his last dance, his future still remains undecided. However, during the mega event, one thing that was peculiar about the former skipper was the endorsement on his willow.
The 38-year-old was seen having the logo of three different companies during the tournament - SG, SS and BAS. In an exclusive interview with Scroll, SG’s marketing director, Paras Anand revealed why the company allowed the wicketkeeper to use their sticker despite not having a sponsorship with the brand.
“Now, as far as SG, SS and BAS were concerned, he had an association with us from the start of his career. He started with BAS and then had a long partnership with SS. And then we also started servicing him irrespective of whether he was using our sticker. So the 2019 World Cup was his way of acknowledging us and saying thanks to the brands who supported him through his career,” said Paras.
Paras also revealed how Dhoni’s agent had approached the various brands for a contract before the showdown event in England. Talking about it, he said none of the smaller brands could afford the money for a sponsorship.
“Dhoni’s agent approached everybody for a contract before the 2019 World Cup. The level at which he was with the other brands that he was associated with [sticker sponsors like Reebok and Spartan], that amount of money no bat manufacturer could afford. Unfortunately, no big brand came forward because they may have thought that he will retire after the World Cup,” said Paras.
Despite not being part of the SG-sponsored athletes, Paras reckoned that having Dhoni on board for the 2019 World Cup helped them with publicity despite the risk that they took.
“We were worried initially; we thought it wouldn’t send a good signal to the consumers. But eventually, we realised that any publicity is good publicity,” Paras added further.
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