Cricket is a sport that gives a platform to companies to promote their brands globally. With advertisements appearing on television sets during the entire duration of the match or tournament, the brand receives tremendous visibility. Having your brand’s name or logo on the team’s jersey or a player’s bat is the best way to bring the company into the limelight.
Consistently performing batsmen attract big brands which are willing to pay big bucks for bat sponsorship deals. Here is the list of iconic bat sponsors which have found a place on the bats of some of the greats of Indian cricket.
The tyre manufacturing company has sponsored bats for some of the great cricketers to ever take the field. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Steve Waugh, and Brian Lara carried the company’s logo on their bat. It has also sponsored young Indian batsmen like Sanju Samson and Prithvi Shaw.
In June 2017, Virat renewed the deal with MRF at a mind-boggling deal price of over Rs. 100 crore for a period of 8 years, a massive jump from a previous three-year contract priced at Rs 8 crores.
The brand that is a familiar name in Indian households for its food products entered the world of cricket with fresh marketing strategy in the 1990s in order to improve brand recognition and thus sales. The company went ahead with its strategy of bat sponsorship campaign by roping in iconic players like Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, and VVS Laxman.
Although Britannia has not sponsored bats since quite some time now, but it is considered to be one of the pioneers of this idea.
The motor company, a joint venture of Hero and Honda, was dissolved in 2010 and later became known as Hero MotoCorp. But before being getting dissolved the company signed bat sponsorship deals with many stalwarts of Indian cricket.
The likes of Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh who put the bowlers on sword and Sourav Ganguly – the king of off-side who used cutting the bowlers for boundaries and sixes had company’s stickers on their bats.
As soon as Sehwag’s contract with Britannia came to an end, Hero Honda quickly pounced on the opportunity and signed him. Same was the case with Ganguly as well. Hero continued its collaboration with Sehwag and it proved to be fruitful as he scored a record-breaking double ton in an ODI against West Indies with the Hero MotoCorp sponsored bat.
The largest manufacturers of tyres in India has roped in Rohit Sharma as the face of the brand. The company recently extended the bat sponsorship contract with Rohit Sharma in October 2018 for a period of three years.
Other players who have bat endorsement deals with CEAT include Rajasthan Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Kings XI Punjab player Mayank Agarwal, India women’s T20 team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and youngsters Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan.
Sareen Sports or famously known as SS is one of the largest manufacturers of cricket equipment in the world. Founded in 1969, SS is India’s one of the oldest cricket equipment brands and its name has become synonymous with cricket. The bat sponsored by SS was etched in the history books when VVS Laxman scored a monumental 281 against Australia at Kolkata with that very bat. SS bats were also used by International cricketers like Kumar Sangakkara and Kieron Pollard.