From his gobsmacking pyrotechnics with bat and acrobatics behind the stumps to endorsing products, everything about Mahendra Singh Dhoni is atypical. After lending many products his great prestige and charm and boosting their sales over the years, ‘captain cool’ is unstoppable still. Quite oddly, in the autumn of his illustrious career, his demand as a brand is growing.
In the last year or so, advertisers are apparently seeking more of the talismanic Dhoni, says Arun Pandey, his manager and a former Bihar Ranji teammate. “Dhoni is presently endorsing 27 products. The only other time he endorsed so many brands was between 2010 and 2012 [when he was India captain across three formats]. In the last 15 months, he has signed 21 endorsement deals—12 new ones and renewed nine. He is in demand because people sign him as ‘Brand Dhoni’ and not just as a cricketer,” says Pandey, chairman and MD of Rhiti Group, which manages 37-year-old Dhoni.