Mahendra Singh Dhoni has conquered almost every cricketing frontier that he has encountered. Now he rules the sponsors game too.
Not many in cricket can pip the legendary Sachin Tendulkar , but Mahi Dhoni left SRT trailing by snapping up a whopping Rs 200 crore -- that is Rs 2 billion (about $40 million) -- endorsement deal with Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited and Mindscapes.
Rhiti Sports, founded six years ago by Arun Pandey, was almost unknown despite handling some of Dhoni's contracts. Pandey is a former Ranji Trophy cricketer who played for Uttar Pradesh [
Founded in 2007, Rhiti Sports is based in New Delhi and has offices in Mumbai and Varanasi.
On Tuesday, the company hit the big league by signing up the Indian captain in partnership with Mindscapes, a deal which gives it access to Dhoni's long list of endorsements and brand associations, corporate profile, patents and digital rights, images, visibility on social networking sites and merchandise for a three-year period.
Sangeet Shirodkar, marketing president for the Rhiti Sports-Mindscapes joint venture, pointed out that the minimum guarantee amount is Rs 200 crores for three years. Depending on the endorsements he signs up Dhoni could end up earning much more than that sum.
"The minimum guarantee amount is Rs 200 crores for 3 years which is around Rs 70 crores (Rs 700 million) per year, but it can go up," he told Rediff.com
He said the deal underlined Dhoni's growing brand value. Since making his international debut in December 2004, the son of a retired work supervisor at Hindustan Steel has sprinted his way to the top on the back of his swashbuckling batting and his phenomenonal success as India's skipper.