Sania bids adieu to adidas, to sparkle in Lotto ads

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | July 11, 2005
The girl from Hyderabad's endorsement list now includes Hindustan Petroleum, Tata Tea, Tata Indicom and Head NV, the second-largest maker of tennis rackets

Budding tennis star Sania & #BANNER1 & # Mirza will be endorsing well-known Italian sports brand Lotto in India now. Earlier, she had an endorsement deal with adidas.

The development coincides with Sierra Industrial Enterprises, which retails Lotto and Disney shoes in India, awarding its advertising business to Rediffusion DYR. Delhi-based agency De'stiji used to service the account earlier.

Santosh Sood, COO, Rediffusion, told agencyfaqs! that the Lotto brand will "straddle the sports and style" genres. "The brand, despite its presence in India for many years now, suffered from a serious visibility problem. We are going to change that," he added.

The adverts - print and billboards - feature Sania in sports gear and in casuals. "That's because Lotto is stylish and sporty at the same time. After all, how many people play tennis in India? Sports shoes are more of a fashion statement in this country. That's why both the genres have been targeted." The advertising budget for Lotto is around Rs 3.5 crore, and Rediffusion will be working on a television campaign at a later date. .

Former tennis champion Boris Becker used to endorse the Lotto brand earlier. Subsequently, the brand had roped in other players as well. But none of them had Sania's sparkle. Recently at the Wimbledon, 1977 champion Virginia Wade described Sania as "one of the most exciting players" on the tennis circuit, while analyzing the match for BBC.

While no financial details were available about Sania's deal with Lotto, it is estimated that Sania makes upwards Rs 26 lakh a year through off-court earnings and has contracts with companies such as Hindustan Petroleum Corp., India's second-biggest state-owned refiner, and Tata Tea Ltd., the world's number two tea company. She also endorses Tata Indicom and Head NV, the second-largest maker of tennis rackets.

Although she trails cricketer superstar Sachin Tendulkar, who earns at least $5 million a year from sponsors, Sania has helped make tennis the country's second-most popular sport. According to a ZEE TV poll earlier this year on India's most popular athletes, Sania emerged third behind Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, and was the only woman in the top 10.

Piyush Pandey, O&M India's group president, has been quoted as saying that Sania has "got a presence and vitality to match her ability. She's got an attitude that young people love."

Lotto is precisely hoping to cash on this.

Both Lotto and Disney are going to be retailed through Sierra Industrial's own stores along with Bata shops. In fact, the target for the fiscal is to retail Lotto in 120 Bata stores and 600 retail outlets.

The Disney shoe brand, for the record, is borne out a strategic alliance between media giant Walt Disney and Sierra. According to the terms of the agreement, Sierra owns the licence to use the Disney brand to manufacture and market the Disney shoe range in India. Sierra, incidentally, also distributes Nike in India.

The Disney shoes range will target children within the age group of a few months to 10 years. The collection, priced between Rs 150 to Rs 850, would include booties, sandals, slippers and sports shoes for boys and girls.

2005 agencyfaqs!