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Indian male athletes with most brand deals in 2023

Rahul Saha Rahul Saha

With the rise in popularity of sports in the country and the marketing potential of some of the biggest names in their respective fields, athletes have found more and more brands coming in and investing in their marketability.

This article contains information about the Indian male athletes who picked up the most number of brand deals in 2023. 

Also Read – Indian female athletes with most brand deals in 2023

Rohit Sharma: 3 

(Infinity Learn, Booking.com, JioCinema) 

2023 has been a relatively quiet year for the captain of the Indian men’s national cricket team, particularly off the field. Despite leading India to Asia Cup glory and finishing runners-up in the ODI World Cup, brands have been cautious about bringing Sharma on board as an ambassador.

Rahul Dravid: 4

(Farmley, Bharat Petroleum, Bloom Hotel Group, Knest) 

The current head coach of the Indian men’s cricket national cricket team has had a very good 2023 both on and off the field. Dravid led his men to the top of all three international formats’ ICC Rankings, while also taking them to Asia Cup glory and a second-place finish in the ODI World Cup.

As a result, brands found a trusted and renowned face in “The Wall”, with the likes of Farmley, Bharat Petroleum, Bloom Hotel Group and Knest all jumping in to get Dravid on board as their brand ambassador. 

Virat Kohli: 5 

(HSBC, Batwrap, Luxor, Essilor, Duroflex)

2023 has been a phenomenal year for the former Indian skipper. Kohli went past Sachin Tendulkar’s 49-ODI-hundreds mark during the World Cup while also setting the record for most runs scored in a single edition of the tournament. Across Tests and ODIs, Kohli amassed close to 2,000 runs, producing six ODI hundreds and two Test hundreds in the process. 

In March this year, New Delhi-based stationery firm Luxor roped Kohli in as a brand ambassador. This was followed by deals with HSBC and Duroflex in May. June saw Australian sports equipment brand Batwrap unveil him as a brand ambassador, while in August prescription lenses brand Essilor rope in the 35-year-old as an ambassador. 

KL Rahul: 5

(Carriall, HyugaLife, Hublot, Too Yumm!, KnobbX) 

2023 will go down as one of the defining years of KL Rahul’s career. With injuries and poor form keeping him away from the Indian setup, there were huge question marks over his availability ahead of two huge tournaments as well as whether he could be trusted with a lean patch of form. However, come the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup, KL Rahul proved his worth with some magnificent displays, earning plaudits from the cricket fraternity. Moreover, being the captain of the Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League and having to step in as captain for the national team in the absence of Rohit Sharma or Hardik Pandya also raised his stock tenfold. 

Apparel brand KnobbX roped in Rahul as a brand ambassador in January 2023. Online health and wellness brand HyugaLife and Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot were next in line, signing a deal with the wicketkeeper-batter in June. Too Yumm! roped him in as a brand ambassador in August, while Carriall, a smart travel luggage brand, unveiled Rahul as its face in September 2023. 

Rishabh Pant: 7 

(Zomato, HDFC Bank, Maggi, Nasher Miles, Star Sports, Himalaya MEN, Iodex UltraGel+) 

Despite sitting on the sidelines and missing out on a home World Cup, multiple brands took the opportunity to rope in the star wicketkeeper-batter as he recovered from his injuries.

In March, Zomato tied down Pant as a brand ambassador, followed by deals with Nasher Miles and Star Sports in April. Nestlé’s instant noodles brand Maggi came in May, while HDFC on-boarded him in July. 

Neeraj Chopra: 7 

(Samsung, Optimum Nutrition, Noise, JSW Group, Alt Smart, Laureus, Tommy Hilfiger)

The golden boy of Indian athletics is the reigning Olympic champion and world champion in Men’s Javelin Throw. At this point, it’s hardly surprising to see brands wanting to cash in on his recent successes. 

Smartwatch brand Alt Smart roped in Chopra as an ambassador in May. Following his gold medal at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Chopra penned endorsement deals with JSW Group and Noise in September. Sports nutrition brand Optimum Nutrition came in November, followed by Samsung, which roped him in for the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold5 smartphone range. 

Saurav Ganguly: 8

(Tripura Tourism, Rana Group, Casagrand, Dabur Chyawanprash, West Bengal Tourism, Erisha EduSupport, Erisha Agritech, Lloyd) 

The former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been a very busy man off the field this year. Thanks to an enigmatic personality and an appeal that persists even 11 years after his retirement from cricket, Ganguly has managed to sign five brand endorsement deals in 2023 — so far.

In May, Rana Group, a conglomerate of EV and agritech manufacturing businesses, roped in Ganguly as its face, while the state of Tripura roped him in as a brand ambassador for Tripura Tourism. In August, Casagrand, the third largest residential development company in south India, roped him in as an ambassador, while in November the state of West Bengal also signed Ganguly as an ambassador. Earlier this month, Dabur Chyawanprash, a health supplement brand of Dabur India, also unveiled Ganguly as a brand ambassador. 

Suryakumar Yadav: 8 

(Crossbeats, JioCinema, TIGC, UniScholars, Healthyr-U, Seagram’s Royal Stag, Reebok India, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance) 

India’s very own Mr. 360 has been batting on a different level compared to most of his peers. He is currently the No.1-ranked batter in men’s T20I cricket and is Team India’s vice-captain in the shortest format. Although the 2023 ODI World Cup was one to forget for the Mumbai-born player, brands recognised his value and marketability in the lead up to the 2024 T20I World Cup. 

This year, Yadav has so far signed a total of eight brand endorsement deals. At the start of the year, ICICI roped him in as a brand ambassador, followed by TIGC and JioCinema in March ahead of the IPL season. Next came Reebok India and Seagram’s Royal Stag, followed by Healthyr-U and UniScholars in August, and Crossbeats in September. 

Shubman Gill: 8

(MuscleBlaze, G Shock, Bajaj Allianz Life, ITC Engage, Fiama Men, Tata Capital, Wings, beatXP)

Growing from an U19 World Cup-winning star to cementing his place in the senior Indian team, Shubman Gill has taken the cricketing world by storm over the last year or so. As his stocks rise on the pitch, so do they off the pitch as well.

Ahead of the 2023 IPL season, both MuscleBlaze and Wings swooped in for Gill, while Fiama Men, ITC Engage and beatXP roped him in mid-season. Later, TATA Capital, Bajaj Allianz and Casio India for its G Shock brand all signed endorsement deals with him. 

Hardik Pandya: 10

(Taco Bell, LenDenClub, Hyundai EXTER, Silver Consumer Electronics, POCO, Gatorade, KRAFTON, BigMuscles Nutrition, Onsitego, Havmor Ice Cream)

A charismatic figure on and off the pitch, Hardik Pandya is up there with some of the best all-rounders in world cricket right now. He is the current vice-captain of Team India in the limited-over formats, while having also led the Gujarat Titans franchise to two consecutive IPL finals, winning one of them.

Thus, among the current crop of Indian cricketers, Pandya’s name is taken in the same breath as the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. 

Pandya was one of the most sought-after athletes this year. In all, the all-rounder signed nine brand endorsement deals. From fast-food chains like Taco Bell to sports drink brands like Gatorade, Pandya has partnered with a diverse range of brands this year. 

MS Dhoni: 13 

(Viacom18, JioMart, Tagda Raho, Patanjali, Enigmatic Smiles, Swaraj Tractors, Maxivision Super Specialty Eye Hospital, Lay’s, Ganera Free Fire, SBI, Asian Footwears, Rigi, Single.id, Kopiko)

India’s most successful captain ever and the current captain of the Chennai Super Kings, Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds the top spot. Despite having retired from international cricket in 2019, Dhoni’s appeal hasn’t dipped one bit.

As he boasts a sponsorship portfolio with over 50 companies despite playing competitive cricket for only two months every year, it’s clear brands still see value in having Dhoni endorse them. Brands like Viacom18, JioMart, SBI and others all saw the 42-year-old as the perfect fit for them, especially in the year of the India-hosted ODI World Cup. 

Top 10 Indian Male Athletes with the most brand deals in 2023
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Rahul Saha

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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