Does this development come as a surprise? Not really. Virender Sehwag's consistent brilliant performance has won him accolades from cricket aficionados and peers alike. And sports goods marketers have been watching him closely. Signing him up was just a matter of time. The only surprise element was who would grab the opportunity first (that's besides marketers like Coke, Samsung and Boost, which have signed him on already).
At a press conference in the capital yesterday adidas India Marketing announced its brand ambassador, India's latest cricketing sensation Virender Sehwag. Virender Sehwag will endorse the entire range of adidas products that include sports footwear, apparel and accessories. The contract is valid for a period of three years.
The association is aimed at reinforcing its image as a brand passionate about sports, says Tarun Kunzru, managing director, adidas India Marketing, "This sponsorship is in line with adidas' international philosophy of sponsoring the best athletes and the best sports people to endorse its products. We are delighted to have this partnership with this young and dynamic sports person. We are truly a genuine partner of athletes and sports around the world. In India, we are associated with Sachin Tendulkar and the tennis duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. Together with Virender Sehwag, we feel we have the cream of players from these two sports to promote our products. They will serve as true symbols of our rich heritage."
On his part, Virender Sehwag feels 'honoured' to be associated with adidas. "I am very happy to be associated with adidas. I have seen several world champions endorsing the products of this company that is known for its quality sports footwear, apparel and accessories. I am honoured to be among such champions and will work towards enhancing the image of adidas in India," he said.
Sehwag, who made his debut in 1999 at Mohali against Pakistan in a one-day international game, scored a test century in his first test match against South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2001. In 11 test matches, Sehwag has made 787 runs with three centuries and four half centuries with a highest score of 147 against the West Indies. In the 43 one-day games that he has played, Sehwag has made 1,252 runs with two hundreds and seven fifties and has also taken 18 wickets.
As far as adidas is concerned, the company entered the Indian market in 1996 (it was earlier present in a lose tie-up with Bata India) by setting up a 100 per cent subsidiary of adidas AG called adidas India Pvt. Ltd. and announced its joint venture with Magnum International Trading Company Ltd. on October 1, 1996. A month after announcing the joint venture, adidas India Marketing launched its range of sports footwear, apparel and accessories in New Delhi on November 1, 1996. Subsequently, adidas products were also launched in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. Currently, adidas products are available in 45 cities in India.
The range of adidas products available in India include sports footwear featuring some of the innovations and technologies developed by adidas such as A³, Clima Cool, Traxion, Torsion System, adiPRENE, adiPRENE Plus and adiWEAR. The sportswear manufacturer markets its products in India through a combination of mega exclusive stores (area of 1,000 sq. feet and above), exclusive stores, multi-brand stores and distributors. Currently, adidas is available in 75 exclusive outlets and in 450 multi-brand outlets in India. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!First Published : October 26, 2002