Brand owners may be attracted to India’s young Chess Olympiad medal-winning players

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, Aug 10 (IANS): With the success of the 44th Chess Olympiad in India and the great performance of the India-2 team, made up of teenagers, as well as individual performances, brand owners can now prepare to have chess players as their brand ambassadors, senior officials said. of a sports management company.

Sports talent managers also said financial services, education, fintech, and health food/beverage companies can consider chess players as their brand ambassadors.

“Unlike many other sportsmen, Indian chess players travel the world throughout the year playing tournaments abroad and also win prizes. Thus, they are constantly in the headlines, unlike to an athlete who only checks the news pages during the Olympics/Commonwealth/Asian Games,” said a senior executive at a sports management company.

They also said that other major chess events like India Chess League and Global Chess League are in the works, providing additional visibility for brands.

“A chess player can be likened to a mutual fund manager. A chess player needs a lot of focus, skill and dedication. The same goes for mutual fund managers. A chess player’s style of play must also match the philosophy of the fund,” Jayant said. Pai, Marketing Director, PPFAS Mutual Fund had told IANS.

According to him, for an equity mutual fund, a chess player will be a good choice.

“In fact, the Mutual Fund Association of India (AMFI) could use a chess player to promote mutual fund culture,” Pai added.

Some mutual funds have shown a chessboard with a few pieces in their advertisements.

“Usually investments are related to strategies and computers to their computing power, which is what chess players mean,” said Susan Polgar, winner of four women’s world championships and five Olympic gold medals earlier. In chess.

In India, the sports brand ambassador segment is almost monopolized by a few cricketers.

“It really is a monopoly in cricket when it comes to brand endorsements. The reason for this is not really known. Only one player monopolizes brand endorsement deals. Perhaps regional brand owners who can’t afford the best player can fetch other cricketers,” an industry official told IANS not wanting to be quoted.

“Cricket is the lowest common denominator in the country. So brands used by everyone will be looking for cricketers. There are niche brands and niche sports like golf, chess and other sporting events Olympics. These games are played by a small percentage of the total population in each country but are globally known. So niche product companies will be looking into these sports people,” Harish Bijoor, brand and expert, told IANS. founder of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

He also said that there are mass brands that cater to non-cricketers due to lack of funds and brands that have a lot of money and go for different sports.

Even though there are several Indian chess players who are in the top 20 in the world in different categories, except former world champion Viswanathan Anand, the recall value of others is less outside of chess.

However, youngsters like D. Gukesh, R. Praggnanandhaa, Arjun Erigaisi and Nihal Sarin are the players who are already making waves in the global chess world.

For example, Gukesh kept the Olympiad venue on fire by winning eight straight matches and eventually won the individual gold medal as well as being the architect of the India-2 team bronze medal. in the event.

“Brand owners will be looking at young boys who have made their mark now and still have a long way to go. Older players who have higher ratings may not be in favor of brand owners,” said a responsible.

So what are chess players doing to attract brand owners?

“Besides being at the top in the field, there are other important aspects – personality and social media presence – for a chess player to appeal to brand owners,” Bijoor said.

Additional aspects like glamor quotient, involvement in social causes, married to another celebrity in the same field or in a different field, Bijoor listed.

According to him, the “couple quotient” has a distinct advantage and the appeal of the combination surpasses their individual appeal.

But it will be a long job for a chess player to position themselves to attract brand endorsement deals.

“Chess is a global game. World Chess Champions are global properties. But it’s a niche segment in many countries. So, like their pieces on the board, player positioning is important” , Bijoor had said.

Several chess grandmasters have told IANS that their main objective is to fight for survival on meager funds and that they have no other thoughts or means regarding their positioning in the market.

Also, senior chess players and parents of young chess players need to be media friendly, which some are not.

This correspondent experienced the haughty attitude of the father of an Indian chess grandmaster (who was part of the bronze medal-winning open team at the Olympiad a few years ago) who never gave access to the player when contacted nor had the courtesy to call back.

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