Agnello Dias, creative consultant, founder and ex-creative chief, Taproot Dentsu
Endorsement fees are driven by pure commerce. Even among the male team players, there is no equality as there is no correlation between what the BCCI pays individuals and endorsement value. The metrics are driven purely by fan following and eyeballs. So no, I don’t see brand endorsements following suit.
Anisha Iyer, CEO, OMD India
For brands to be able to invest in higher endorsement fees, the promotional efforts to highlight women in sports need to go through a massive upsurge. Our country needs to focus on better-promoting women’s cricket and get people invested in it first. In the absence of the same level of popularity that GEC stars or male cricketers enjoy, women cricketers will draw little appeal. That needs to change, and we need to ask ourselves if we are doing enough as a country to give them the spotlight they need to stand as equals.
Chandramouli Nilakantan, CEO, TRA Research
While equal pay for men and women in a match is a matter of equality, good governance and a little optics, the endorsement fees paid by brands are a matter of pure commerce. In the latter, negotiations are tough from both sides and therefore, I do not see that the BCCI match fee will have any impact on endorsement fees for the women’s cricket team. That said, the Indian women’s cricket team has been performing very well and well deserves to get a better endorsement fee for sure.
One thing that the BCCI decision will impact is that all women’s teams playing leagues across other sports will be under pressure to pay the women’s teams to match fees similar to that of the men’s teams.
Divya Karani, CEO, media – South Asia, dentsu
BCCI’s decision signals so much more than just equal pay! It signals equality. Equality of access, equality of opportunity, equality to rights and dignity. And a culture of equality creates endless ripples across our way of life.”
Harish Bijoor, brand guru and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults
Equal compensation is a fundamental right for the women's cricket team. In terms of brand endorsement monies, I do not believe it will make an impact. Brands and brand monies know no political correctness. They will go where the eyeballs reside.
Jogesh Lulla, chief operating officer, Cornerstone Sport
What BCCI has done is amazing! Hopefully this will have a rub off effect on all the other sports as well.
Melroy D’souza, chief operating officer, Professional Management Group (PMG)
No, I don’t think brands will be under pressure to increase endorsement fees for women cricketers. BCCI has taken this good initiative as they are the governing body of cricket in India and by giving equal pay, they recognise that the efforts put in by male and female cricketers are equal.
However, brands are not obligated to do the same. As the popularity of male and female cricketers is different, brands will reward celebrities according to their popularity and not because the governing body does it.
Although, with the announcement of women's IPL, I feel there will be more brands using women cricketers as brand endorsers, as their popularity will increase as their on-field exploits will be more visible.
Mohit Joshi, CEO, Havas Media Group India
The conversation surrounding equal pay is topical and universal. Within the world of sports, BCCI’s policy change emerges as a historic turning point where female athletes not only get their dues but also reflects a mind shift change where they are valued like their male counterparts. Marketers should recognise this opportunity to build female athletes as brands - in a sense, create an ecosystem that goes beyond the lip-service of pay-hike tokenism.
Take, for example, the number of endorsements, for brands and products across industries, we see from male cricket players – the names instantly spring to mind! Now, consider the brands and products endorsed by female cricket players – it takes longer for us to think of any. This holds up a mirror to the overlooked potential of women, not just as athletes but also as impactful brand ambassadors.
The industry is buzzing for change, and as an advertising conglomerate we have made a meaningful difference by altering our policies and ecosystem to not only onboard more women professionals but creating a conducive environment for them to thrive in. Similarly, we need to transform how female athletes are perceived, empowering them with more visibility via increased endorsements which will, in turn, have a positive, organic role-modelling effect on budding sports stars. We must have confidence in the uplifting power of female representation in sports and leverage it tactfully in marketing so that it becomes a win-win scenario for all.
Ramakrishnan R, co-founder and director, Baseline Ventures
- Attractiveness of the cricketer- The endorser should be attractive to the target audience in certain aspects like physical appearance, intellectual capabilities, athletic competence, and lifestyle.
- Credibility: defined here as the cricketers’ perceived expertise and trustworthiness
- Reach and brand appeal: How big is the reach and compatibility between the brand and the cricketers audience.