Recently I came across a story which suggested a possible scenario had Sachin Tendulkar not played Cricket for India! A generation for whom Sachin in India colours was as routine as the sun rising in the east, the article produced a chuckle. In my youth I might have actually dashed off an outraged envelope to be considered for publication under ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. Sachin’s is not just a career of a cricket player; Sachin’s is a story of tumultuous changes in the story of Indian Cricket. Correction! A 24+ year career is not just a story but a substantial chunk of history of Indian Cricket!
One among the many dramatic changes I have noticed in Indian Cricket from the time I started following it is the influx of money in the game. Money and Cricket is a done to death subject. The hows, whens, whys of the riches coming in and hence we will leave the same aside except for a small information to put things in perspective. Kapil Dev received a princely sum of Rs.25000.00 on winning the Man of the series award against the West Indies in the 83-84 season! This was the backdrop when the late Mark Mascarenhas made what was considered an insane offer of Rs.100 crores over 5 years to manage Sachin Tendulkar’s endorsement portfolio. If it is quite routine for Indians to feature in Forbes list of highest earning sportspersons today the seeds were sown then! If you assume this note is about the riches that Sachin has earned from the game, every paisa well deserved if I may add, then I must disappoint you. One of the recurring regrets of the young fans of today is that they were not born 10 years or so earlier to see Sachin at the start of his career. History they say lies buried in a library or the archives of a media company. While enough has been written about Sachin the Cricketer, here I attempt to present Sachin the larger than life super star. And in doing so hopefully we will also traverse the journey of the man who from a squeaky 14 year old went on to be anointed the God of Indian cricket and the one who reached the pinnacle of the endorsement gravy train.
The baby of the team takes his baby step in the world of endorsements. Sachin’s first commercial for Band Aid before he even started shaving. As with his cricket so with his endorsements.
The evolution of brand Sachin runs parallel to the evolution of Sachin the Cricketer. One brand which captures this metamorphosis is Pepsi for whom Sachin played a long inning.
As a ‘rookie’ finding his feet in the Indian Team. Marked out for future stardom but still a ‘chotu’ of the team under Azharuddin Sir! (Yes the same Azharuddin! The MP from Moradabad). The film also features a certain Vinod Kambli, the man who once famously said that while Sachin took the elevator, he had to take the stairs. We now know that Kambli in his ignorance took the stairs to the basement instead of the penthouse.
Every boy wants to be Sachin! Every child through the length and breadth of the country spoke with stars in their eyes. Mala Sachin vahaycha aahe!
And soon even Superstars wanted to become Sachin. Need I say more?
The other brand to encode the remarkable journey of Indian Cricket and Sachin Tendulkar was Boost.
Boost announces the arrival of the new Indian star! The baton passes from the old to the new, from Kapil Dev to Sachin……………………
Carrying the burden of being the sole energizer of a nation starved for success. The lone warrior!
As Indian Cricket evolved from a one man team to Team India it was but natural for Boost to reflect it. Virender Sehwag joins the game……….
The man’s consistency and longevity in the game is unparalleled. Sehwag loses his way. Mahi Dhoni makes the entry. Our man carries on…………………..
As the fickle form deserted him, so did many of his regular MNC brands. No offence meant to the brand here but Sachin and Ujala white? Doesn’t sound right!
As he closes on to write the epilogue of a wonderful journey, the last mile will be on BMW! Once a star, always a star!
As you noticed, the fortunes of Sachin the player, Team India and Sachin the brand ambassador has moved togather in unison. Sachin brought the Cricketers at par with the stars of silver screen in the endorsement business. Future generations can thank him. The best way to do that would be to bring the same passion, hunger and drive and win for India. The endorsements and the resultant prosperity will follow!
PS: Hope my hard task master is satisfied. Right Senor @RFed1? Thank you @Ket25 for the Marathi.
Chotu: Kid, Child.
Mala Sachin vahaycha aahe : I want to become Sachin