Sold His Soul To The Devil




 M. S. Dhoni

M. S. Dhoni

Everyone is harping over M. S. Dhoni’s endorsements deals, which is good, but all for the wrong reasons.

M. S. Dhoni seems to be signing contracts left right and centre, good for him. He is an icon in this generation, much like Sachin Tendular, underlining the MUCH. They both charge the same amount for advertisements going about 5 crore up or down, Dhoni seems to have over taken Sachin on the sheer number of brand endorsements. In July of 2010 he tied up with a talent management company called Rhiti Sports Management and Mindscapes One and is guaranteed to a minimum sum of 210 crore for 3 years. When he started getting into this business, he was getting approximately 30 to 40 lakhs per ad, now that must seem like pocket change to him.

So, Dhoni has become the highest earning cricketer ever, making a total of 10 million USD, 8 million of which were from endorsements alone as per Forbes Magazine. As far as Dhoni is concerned there will never be a shortage of brands for him to endorse in, so why the UB group?

The UB (United Breweries) Group is based in Bangalore and owned by Vijay Mallya. M. S. Dhoni recently signed a 26 crore deal with them, being the brand ambassador for McDowell’s soda, non alcoholic.

M. S. Dhoni knows Indian athletes are prohibited from agreeing to alcohol-based endorsements, the contract thus being for soda. But association with a company which deals with alcohol is bad enough for a sportsman’s image, if it isn’t, then it should be.

We all know, advertisements for any brand showing alcoholic beverages are not approved anymore as done by the censorship boards. Which is why all brewery companies showcase the soda, for example Bagpiper and Smirnoff, all had soda ads because the alcoholic advertisements were no longer permitted. So is it right for Dhoni to be an ambassador for such a brand, he as a sportsman should be able to abide by unspoken but understood ethics. After all you will never hear of Sachin Tendulkar endorsing with any company which goes against his principles, he once even made Pepsi change the script of an advertisement he was in because it showed him greater than the sport.

There have been many sportspeople from different fields who refused endorsements with even soft drink companies like Pepsi and Coca Cola because they felt that it was giving the youth the wrong idea that fizzy beverages are good for them. Soft drinks for a sportsperson is close to poison for the system, which some of them have a problem promoting as it goes against their principles.

So Dhoni who has enough endorsements in his kitty should not be associated with a brand which can ruin his image, unless he is at the point where he no longer cares what his image is and is only interested in making money, in short, he thinks he is above cricket.

Now surely even Dhoni knows, he will never be considered in the same league as a Sachin Tendular and he probably never hopes to be, but he should know that it is because of the adulation he receives from his fans that put him on the TV screen, on the front page of the newspaper and on billboards all over the country, in the first place, if that respect from the public is gone, he will be replaced faster than he can say, Indian Cricket Team.

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Nandita Shamlal

Author:

Hey! I’m Nandita Shamlal in my final year at Amity School of Communication (Amity University) doing Journalism and Mass Communication. I have always loved sports even though I couldn’t play a single one without causing injury to myself (and others). I enjoy watching cricket the most but also enjoy tennis and basketball. Writing is something I’ve always felt was an outlet to every thought that crosses your mind. I enjoy reading, watching the television and of course, writing. Besides writing my greatest passion is playing the piano. Hope you enjoy what I write!

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