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fab
July 27, 2004, 07:46 PM
hmmmm.. money talk.

A good wicket for a fistful of rupees
July 28, 2004

Australia's cricketers have never been so marketable; India's economy is booming. It's a match made in heaven, reports Alex Brown.

When Ricky Ponting's squad arrives in Mumbai later this year seeking to become the first Australian side to record a Test-series victory in India since the 1969-70 season, much will be at stake.

Not just the chance to match the feats of Bill Lawry's team 34 years ago, the quest to remain atop the ICC Test rankings and the personal duel between two head-strong captains in Ponting and Sourav Ganguly. Away from the field, the Australians stand to make history in endorsement deals with Indian corporations hopeful of cashing in on the national cricketing obsession.

Never before have Australian cricketers stood to gain so much financially, given the timing of the tour, the heightened popularity of cricket among India's 1.3 billion people and the fact its economy is growing at an astonishing eight per cent a year. Leading the charge have been the IT, media and telecommunications industries, contributing substantially to the country's $US2200 billion ($3100 billion) gross domestic product and a stockmarket that finished last year up 80 per cent.

Which explains, in part, why Brett Lee is learning to speak Hindi. And why Shane Warne has commissioned an agent in India to uncover sponsorship opportunities. And why Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath are among those to have followed the lead of Steve Waugh in embracing the Indian culture - and benefiting financially.
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"Tugger [Waugh] was the guy who pioneered looking at India in this way," Gilchrist said. "I think we're all pretty aware of the opportunities now, whereas we probably weren't so much a few years ago.

"There is so much easy money there, smash-and-grab money, where you do work that is quite easy [for a sponsor] and get paid well for it. I actually fell into the trap of that a little bit during my last [Test] tour there, getting a bit too excited at the prospects and the commercial work that was out there."

Waugh's lucrative sponsorship deal with Madras Rubber Factory coincided with India's media boom, economic surge and increasing success in cricket. Soon, Waugh became as well-known for his tough on-field persona as for his charitable work with young leprosy sufferers - his image beamed to the estimated 45 million homes in India with cable or satellite television.

Australian agents soon followed Waugh's lead, including Neil Maxwell - a former NSW all-rounder now managing the likes of Lee and Jason Gillespie - who worked in India for several years negotiating advertising signage rights at cricket stadia.

Lee is among the most marketable, despite having never played a Test in the country. An estimated 15 per cent of his endorsement earnings are derived from Indian corporations - a figure Maxwell hopes to boost to 25 per cent after this year's four-Test series.

"With Brett, we treat India as a completely separate entity and we have our own marketing plan for opportunities there," said Maxwell. "We think there's great potential there for Brett with the series coming up, because he can transcend cultural differences, he's affable, good-looking, plays music and is successful at what he does on the field.

"It's fair to say Steve Waugh was probably the first [Australian player] to accept India for what it was and embrace it. They embraced him back. Brett has learned to speak Hindi off his own bat - I didn't push it. It's about making an effort to embrace the culture."

Lee holds contracts with watch manufacturer Timex, Indian motorcycle company TVS and Seagrams clothing brand. His Timex deal is rumoured to be worth about $120,000 a year.

Such figures seem astronomical for an Australian cricketer in a foreign market. But given the success of the team in recent years - and the expense associated with sponsoring India's elite cricketers - large corporations on the subcontinent are increasingly pursuing our players for advertising campaigns, speaking engagements and promotional tours.

Read the rest at SMH (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/27/1090693964026.html)

acker
July 27, 2004, 08:19 PM
Warnie could promote weight loss schemes and become the sub continents next Jenny Craig and maybe be have a bollywood cooking show like Martha Stewart :bravo:

fab
July 28, 2004, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by acker
Warnie could promote weight loss schemes

lol He could get his entire family involved.. his mother could make millions with that infamous diet pill!

acker
July 28, 2004, 01:25 AM
Or

"Shane Warnes Original Diuretic Curry"

could catch on in India like Paul Newmans Spaghetti sauce has over here.