The surging popularity of women's cricket in India is undoubtedly bringing the long-overdue recognition to female cricketers. One clear example is the ongoing Women's Premier League 2023 (WPL), which has not only captured the attention of sports enthusiasts but also attracted brands for endorsements and collaborations.
Brand Endorser Report by Hansa Research has thrown up insights highlighting Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj as the current most likeable and popular female sports personalities in the nation, trailing ahead of some very noteworthy and renowned sports personalities.
They have excelled on a variety of metrics against some of their male counterparts on bold, fit/energetic/has stamina, and overall personality parameters, establishing a powerful identity and performance standard that surpasses some of the popular and young male players such as Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw.
In the last couple of years, Smriti Mandhana has emerged as the leading player in Indian cricket. As a stylish left-hander, she is seen as one of the fittest players in the current Indian women's team, and a famous face in women's cricket, which has added significant market value to her brand. She has endorsed several major brands, such as Nike, Guvi, Hero Motocorp, Hyundai, Boost, Spektacom, and Manyavar.
Mithali Raj is synonymous with attributes like consistency, loyalty, and versatility, making her a stalwart in women's cricket. She has played an instrumental role in elevating the prominence of women sportspersons in India, earning legendary status with remarkable recall both nationally and internationally. Her life story has inspired a recent biopic, "Shabaash Mithu."
Commenting on the findings from the Brand Endorser Report, Praveen Nijhara, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - Hansa Research said, “Our study, Brand Endorser, offers a comprehensive evaluation of the value an endorser brings to a brand. It enables marketers to make informed decisions and enhance the overall return on investment (ROI) in celebrity engagement."
“As the Indian women's team secured the 2023 ICC U19 T20 World Cup trophy and the Women's Premier League (WPL) continues to garner attention, women cricketers are poised to expand their brand value and endorsement portfolios. With the WPL, a fresh wave of talent is expected to rise to prominence, potentially becoming household names. This is a defining moment for Indian women's cricket, empowering women through sports and inspiring them to greatness. A great time for brands to tap in on their popularity and associate with a good brand endorser.” he added.
Hansa Research's Brand Endorser Report profiled 550 celebrities and personalities from various fields, with 5100 respondents from 36 cities across India. The final BE scores are determined using a number of metrics, such as likeability, social media influence, perception, marketing potential, and recognition.