Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tendulkar is much more than a sports star in India

14 November 2013, 17:57

Mumbai - The crowd milling around Wankhede Stadium daily with placards and posters of Sachin Tendulkar are a testament to cricket's most worshipped player who is about to make his international swansong.

Tendulkar plays his world-record 200th and last test from Thursday in a hometown stadium for which tickets could have been sold 10 times over and still not satisfied demand.

His popularity reached beyond cricket's giant stadiums long ago, especially in his India homeland.

A career combining superstar talent, virtually from the time he made his India debut at 16 in 1989, and no controversy have made the Tendulkar brand desired and irresistible to sponsors, politicians and the public in the world's most cricket-crazed nation.

Even Amitabh Bachchan, a superstar in India's other cherished institution, Bollywood, says Tendulkar is the country's biggest icon.

"When you talk of Japan, you talk of cameras, when you talk of Brazil, you talk of football," Bachchan told CNN-IBN. "When you talk about India, you suddenly think of Sachin Tendulkar. He embodies the identity of the country in many ways."

Celebrity managers say Tendulkar's rise in stature paralleled when the economy was opening up to the world.

"Tendulkar's growth coincided with the emergence of the Indian economy," celebrity management professional Indranil Das Blah told The Associated Press. "Earlier, there were (Sunil) Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and (Ravi) Shastri but Tendulkar became an icon as several big brands also got associated with him."

The enormity of Tendulkar's brand value first caught attention when he was signed by management company Wordtel for $7.5 million on a five-year deal in 1995. It was an unheard of amount in India at the time, and its only kept increasing over the years.

Even though India captain Mahenda Singh Dhoni was said to have overtaken Tendulkar in terms of the number and value of endorsements when he reportedly signed a $40 million deal in 2010 with a sports management company which was $6 million more than Tendulkar's running contract, no one could compare with Tendulkar when it came to the class of sponsors and general acceptability.

Tendulkar has had deals with Coca-Cola and Pepsi (not at the same time), Toshiba, Canon, Philips, adidas and Aviva life insurance.

Blah believes Tendulkar's appeal will not diminish after retirement.

"There could be a little vacuum when he retires but then in the West, people like Lance Armstrong, Andre Agassi and Mike Tyson remained big brands even after retirement," Blah said.

Amid speculation on what Tendulkar will do after cricket, there are already calls from politicians and sportsmen to make him the sports minister since he is a nominated member of Parliament.

"He should become the sports minister because that will benefit Indian sports," said wrestler Sushil Kumar, who won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics and silver at the London Olympics. "He does not only think only about cricketers but rather respects all sportsmen equally. He has been the biggest inspiration for all of us and we are sure he will do well in that role."

- AP

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto, not Kenneth the main man...

DP William Ruto will be the main man for the Jubilee Party in 2022, Kiraitu Murungi insists. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Jittery times for DP Ruto as Kenn...

Peter Kenneth is a genuine threat to DP William Ruto's 2022 State House bid... and the DP's allies know it. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
I will name those sabotaging DP R...

A Jubilee Party Governor says that he will name and shame those within Jubilee he says are undermining DP William Ruto's 2022 State House plans. Read more...

ODM official acquitted of defilem...

A Nakuru ODM official on Thursday broke into tears after the court acquitted him of defilement charges leveled against him by his 15-year-old cousin. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Man who attacked US Embassy a 24 ...

A man who attacked the US Embassy in Nairobi was a 24 year old from Wajir County. Read more...