In a nation starved of sporting champions, Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra has become a sensation. Ever since the historic night of August 7, which is now set to be observed as the National Javelin Throw Day in India, Chopra's life hasn't been the same. His popularity has shattered all kinds of records and he is on his way to becoming the new poster boy of Indian sports if he hasn't reached there already.
Naturally, his success is reaping his rewards financially. In a report, it is now being claimed that his brand endorsement fees has reportedly increased by 1000 per cent and is second only to the captain of the men's cricket team Virat Kohli.
Neeraj surpasses the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul in endorsement fees: Reports
While Neeraj was said to be making only 15-25 lakhs per endorsement on an annual basis prior to his throw of 87.58 metres which fetched him a gold medal at Tokyo, he is now in talks to sign new deals which will be worth 10 times that money. As per brand experts, a 10-fold rise in the endorsement value is unprecedented by any stretch of imagination especially after an individual event like the javelin throw.
To put things into perspective, captain Kohli is presently the only sportsperson in the country to be charging a fee in the region of INR 1 to 5 crores. With the rise in his endorsement fees, Neeraj can be categorised into more or less the bracket as somebody of the stature of Kohli, who recently became the first from Asia to have more than 150 million followers on Instagram. Moreover, he has already surpassed other cricketing stars in India- the likes of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul who reportedly charge between INR 50 lakhs and INR 1 crore per year.
Requests from close to 80 brands
As per a report carried by Economic Times, JSW Sports, the firm that manages Neeraj, are in talks with at least five or six deals with luxury auto and apparel brands an agreement on which could be reached in the subsequent weeks. They are also set to sign a few digital-only pacts for Neeraj. Deals with existing brands like Nike, sports drink Gatorade, ExxonMobil and MuscleBlaze sports supplements are now set to be revised at higher prices as after all he is now an Olympic champion.
"We have requests from close to 80 brands, Neeraj has a limited number of free days between training camps in India and abroad over the next 12-14 months, so we have to be selective about signing on brands," chief executive of JSW Sports, Mustafa Ghouse, told Economic Times.