Rebutting the inflated figures reported on the Tiger Woods endorsement deal, Hero MotoCorp today clarified that the amount quoted by media was way beyond their actual deal.
Soon after the endorsement deal was announced by Hero MotoCorp Vice Chairman and Managing Director Pawan Munjal on Monday, media outlets and market analysts had pegged the deal to be in the bracket of Rs 200-250 crore.
However, Munjal today sought to clear the air about the four-year deal with the American golf legend, who is a winner of 14 Major titles.
"Those are not correct figures. Absolutely speculative numbers. And they are also way beyond our signing amount," Munjal told PTI.
"Unfortunately I cannot declare the amount of the deal but figures reported are beyond the actual signing amount," the veteran industrialist said.
Asked if he thinks, media was obsessed with figures, Munjal was cautious in his reply.
"Not just media but anyone would like to know what the company has signed. I am glad in a way that these very high numbers are floating around. It clearly shows the worth of the celebrity. In one way, my stand is vindicated that I have done the right thing. While the numbers are not correct but that's the worth of the celebrity," he said.
"Media should be more pragmatic," he added.
While Munjal did not disclose the signing amount, an official, who did not wish to be named said that the deal was close to Rs 120 crore for four years.
"It's actually close to 5 million USD a year. So it comes in the bracket of Rs 115-120 crore," the official, who is privy to the deal details, claimed.
There was also speculation that legendary footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez are likely to be roped in by Hero MotoCorp, keeping an eye on the European market.
However, Munjal said they have no such plans as yet.
"If you remember when I met you on Monday, I had said that this is not the first and last endorsement. Hero will be working in future with more celebrities whether from the sporting field or from the entertainment world. But there is nothing on the anvil right now. We are not talking to anyone today," Munjal said.
Hero, which already has presence in 23 countries, plans to enter the US market with their motorcycles by 2016. Munjal said the future demands that US people ride bikes and not expensive cars to their destinations.
"When I look at our current products and see very congested cities of the US, I am very confident that we can create very niche markets here. In the cities like Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago or in California there are lots of universities, students who need transport.
"They don't want to spend their money on the automobiles. They need options. Parents don't want their kids to spend money on automobiles. They would use our products, which are smaller and very competitive."
The 60-year-old was ecstatic with his company's association with Hero World Challenge, an elite PGA Tour event, as the title sponsors.
"Hero has a tradition of doing better and improving every next event. It's not just sporting event. Every next event is better than the previous event. We are raising the bar. Coming to a PGA event is really big.
"It's done very professionally. Personally I am feeling very satisfied the way it has been staged. The way branding has been displayed. When I see the television, I think the branding is coming out excellent," he said with a smile on his face.
Munjal said the mileage that Hero has got in the US by getting the title sponsorship of the tournament has been amazing.
"People, I don't know, are coming and speaking to me. Unknown people have come and said you have done a brilliant thing. And more importantly a lot of Indian community here in US has come and asked if they can click a picture with me. People are feeling very proud that an Indian company has come out here to the US and have tied up with Tiger Woods," he said.
"In India whatever we do is known. Here now people are asking who is Hero what they do. Which is this company."