Category Archives: Cricket

Cricket symbolizes fair play. Cricketers set an example for on-field bahaviour to most sports people. Test cricket embodies almost every human emotion. It tests the true character of the cricketer, the team and even the fan.

ಕರ್ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿನಿಧಿಸುವ ಭಾರತೀಯ ಕ್ರಿಕೆಟಿಗರು / Cricketers who represent Karnataka for India and the world

ನನಗೆ ಖುಷಿ ಕೊಡುವ ಕೆಲಸಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಛಾಯಾಚಿತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ಜೋಡಿಸುವುದೂ ಒಂದು. ನಾಡಪ್ರೇಮ ಹೆಚ್ಚೋ ದೇಶ ಪ್ರೇಮ ಹೆಚ್ಚೋ ಎನ್ನುವ ಚರ್ಚೆ ‘ಕಾವೇರಿ’ರುವ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ, ಕನ್ನಡ ‘ಮಹಾದಾಯಿ’ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವ ಹತ್ತಿರ ಇರುವಾಗ, ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಲಭ್ಯವಿರುವ (ಕಾಪಿರೈಟ್ (ಬಹುಶಃ) ಇಲ್ಲದ) ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಕ್ರಿಕೆಟಿಗರ ಫೋಟೋಗಳನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಪುಟ್ಟದೊಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟರ್ ತಯಾರಿಸಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಆ ಪೋಸ್ಟರ್ ಅನ್ನು ಈವತ್ತು ಕಣ್ಠೀರವನ ಮೂಲಕ ಎಲ್ಲರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ.

“ಕರ್ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿನಿಧಿಸುವ ಭಾರತೀಯ ಕ್ರಿಕೆಟಿಗರು / Cricketers who represent Karnataka for India and the world”. 

ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 22, 2016 ಕ್ಕೆ ನನ್ನ ಈ ವೆಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಕಣ್ಠೀರವ (CanTHeeRava)ನಿಗೆ ಎಂಟು ವರ್ಷ ತುಂಬುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಕಣ್ಠೀರವನನ್ನು ಎಂಟು ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಸಾವಿರಾರು ಮಂದಿ ಓದಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದ ಬರಹಗಳು ಸಕಾಲಿಕವೋ ಅಥವಾ ಆಕಳಿಕೆಗೂ ಅರ್ಹತೆ ಇಲ್ಲದ್ದೋ ಎಂಬ ತೀರ್ಮಾನ ಓದುಗರದ್ದು. ಬರೆದದ್ದನ್ನು ಓದಿದ, ಓದುತ್ತಿರುವ, ಓದಿ ವಿಚಾರಗಳನ್ನು ಹಂಚಿಕೊಂಡ ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಕೃತಜ್ಞನಾಗಿದ್ದೇನೆ.

ಅನೇಕರು ನವೆಂಬರ್ ಒಂದರಂದು ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವ ಆಚರಿಸಿ ಅಂದು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಆದರೆ ನಾನು ನವೆಂಬರ್ ಒಂದರಂದು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತನಾಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಉಳಿದ 364.25 ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದ(ಲ್ಲಿ) ಆಲೋಚನೆ ಮಾಡುವ ನನಗೆ, ನವೆಂಬರ್ ೧ ‘ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನೆಯ ದಿನ’. ಕನ್ನಡ ಬಂದರೂ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ನಲ್ಲೇ ಮಾತನಾಡುವವರನ್ನು ವಿರೋಧಿಸುವ ದಿನ. ಕನ್ನಡ ಮಾತೃ ಭಾಷೆ ಆಗಿದ್ದರೂ ಒಂದು ವಾಕ್ಯವನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲೇ ಆರಂಭಿಸಿ ಕನ್ನಡಲ್ಲೇ ಮುಗಿಸಲು ತಿಣುಕುವ ಜನರನ್ನು ವಿರೋಧಿಸುವ ದಿನ. ಕನ್ನಡವನ್ನು “ಕನ್ನಡ್” ಎಂದು, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ‘ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ್” ಎಂದು ತಪ್ಪಾಗಿ ಉಚ್ಚಾರ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ಹಿಂಸಿಸುವ ಹಿಂದೀವಾಲಾಗಳನ್ನು (ಉತ್ತರ ಭಾರತೀಯರನ್ನು) ವಿರೋಧಿಸುವ ದಿನ.  ಮನೆ ಮಾತು ಕನ್ನಡೇತರ ಭಾಷೆ ಆಗಿದ್ದು, 364.25 ದಿನ ಕನ್ನಡ ಎಂದರೆ ಮೂಗುಮುರಿದು, ನವೆಂಬರ್ ಒಂದರಂದು ಕೆಂಪು-ಹಳದಿ ಬಾವುಟದ ಶಾಲು, ವೇಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊದೆದು ಕನ್ನಡ ಪ್ರೇಮಿಗಳಂತೆ ನಟಿಸುವವರನ್ನು ವಿರೋಧಿಸುವ ದಿನ.

Today (October 22nd, 2016), CanTHeeRava is celebrating his 8th virtual birthday. I feel immensely happy that he has written regularly for eight years at one place. I leave qualitative judgements to his readers. I wish to acknowledge everyone who has supported him and his weblog. Thank you.

We are going through a phase in our democracy where our imagination for federal identity is gaining momentum. Common people are expressing their views on Kannada and Kannadatva and I hope it culminates in greater psychological freedom and financial autonomy for Kannada people.  I don’t celebrate November the 1st as Kannada Rajyotsava.  There is no need for me to do that because I think about Kannada and think in Kannada during the remaining 364.25 days a year.  What I hate most is the symbolic (useless) love for Kannada that pops up only on this day.  I celebrate November the 1st as a day of protest.  I protest everything that is anti-Kannada and pseudo-proKannada on November 1st.

karnataka_cricketers_a4_posterbycantheerava

ಈ ಪೋಸ್ಟರ್ ನ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಫೈಲ್ (ಹೈ ರೆಸೊಲ್ಯೂಷನ್) ನಿಮಗೆ ಬೇಕಿದ್ದರೆ ತಿಳಿಸಿ. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮಿಂಚೆಗೆ ಪೋಸ್ಟರ್ ಕಳಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ.

To mark CanTHeeRava’s 8th birthday, I am sharing with you a poster of Karnataka cricketers. I have put together (freely available?) photographs on the internet.  If you are interested in receiving a high-resolution version of this poster by email, please do let me know, I will send a cleaner version of the poster by email to you.

 

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Tendulkar: a Sun, a Nebula

India v CA Chairman's XI - Day 2
Sachin Tendulkar was the Sun of Indian batting. He burnt bright using Hydrogen for most part of his career. He burnt Helium for a period of 5 years and for the last two years he was burning Carbon/Oxygen (very difficult to sustain). The end was in sight. Unlike a giant star which burns bright but runs out of fuel very quickly, Tendulkar managed to burn slow like our own Sun (a star that can support evolution of life). He will become a spectacular planetary nebula, occupying a large mind space in the Indian cricket nursery.

Leaving physical pains aside,  most men don’t cry when they are faced with an emotional challenge.  I don’t think I can.  So far, there have been two things in this world that easily make me shed tears of joy.  One has been the carnatic classical veena of Mysore V Doreswamy Iyengar.  The other has been memories of my late canine friend (1989-2003).  I do show emotions sometimes more openly than I would like to.  Watching Sachin Tendulkar bat has been one such activity that brings out unchecked emotions.  I need to perform two corrections here.  I need to correct my sense of time/tense.  I can’t watch him bat live in a test match anymore.  He has retired. May be it is okay.  The other correction involves improving my psychological balance while he bats.  That is not possible anymore.  He has retired. It is not okay.

I couldn’t watch him bat in his last test match because I was in a different time zone, surrounded by people who do not know cricket.  To my surprise I did not show any emotion when I heard that Tendulkar was out for 74, in what now turns out to be his last test innings for India (Second test against the West Indies played in Mumbai from Nov 14 to 18, 2013).  I watched the highlights.  I was relieved to see him play some of his best shots during that knock.  The day after the day he got out, that is today, turned out to be his last day in test cricket for India.  I was still very composed when I heard that India had won and Tendulkar had bid goodbye.  I turned to the internet again and watched his final exit from the middle.  My breathing had already become shallow and when I saw that Tendulkar was trying to control his tears, I snapped.  I couldn’t control my tears, most certainly like many other millions of Indians.

I started following cricket in 1992 (my age was in single figure).  The same year Tendulkar hit that famous 114 against Australia on what I later understood to be a fast and bouncy cricket wicket in Perth. For several years after that innings, Tendulkar was the only batsman in the Indian team who mattered.  His was the only wicket that the opponents needed to make sure India folded quickly.  The fall of his wicket meant that I stopped watching the match.  Sadly, India winning or losing didn’t matter to me until I was in high school. I gradually started watching India matches even after a Tendulkar dismissal, but I used to do that in a completely pessimistic mode.  My game was Tendulkar out…India out….

There were so many moments where I had felt he shouldn’t get the strike at all.  I feel embarassed to admit that I couldn’t enjoy some of his batting because him being on strike was too tough to handle. “Stay at the non-striker’s end for the entire innings, not score any runs, but just be there at stumps”…. No matter what, he had to be the last man standing.  India was not relevant.  How silly I was.  But fortunately Tendulkar wanted to be on strike and more importantly for Tendulkar, India mattered.  Every batsman has to bat for himself.  He batted certainly for himself. At the same time, he didn’t forget India.

tendulkar-100
Last Man Standing

By the time Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly (1996) and VVS Laxman (1997) came along, I knew a lot more about cricket. I admired them.  I followed their game as much as I followed Tendulkar’s.  However, the Tendulkar connect happened much earlier in my life. I think it was crucial. I don’t think I would have been into the Tendulkar phenomenon the way I do now, had I started following the game after he became a big name.   The big money and the big brand….the glamour associated with current players would have certainly put me off.  I have never been particularly fond of Tendulkar, the person.  Yes,  he is dignified.  Yes, he has a tremendous work ethic. Yes, he is humble.  Yes, he has had no controversies of significance.  All of that made him great. Yet, he has remained an elusive figure.  I don’t know the man.  I was not interested in him before/after a batting innings. He has skillfully (sometimes angrily) managed to guard his personal life and rightly so.  Perhaps there were always some “mystical powers” that operated and connected so many like me to his game.  The crazy Indian fan put him on a pedestal and forced him away into a sheltered existence.  Today, in his farewell speech Tendulkar was as graceous as ever. However, I don’t think many of us have been half as graceous as him.  For me, he was just a batsman and nothing else mattered.  When he batted, he had to score runs.  When he scored big runs, the world appeared normal and the laws of nature remained intact.

Did I say that it was okay that Tendulkar retired?  Many believe so.  I have slowly come to terms with this.  I wanted him to play his final test match in South Africa.  He made his test debut against a chellenging bowling attack in Pakistan.  He must have been tempted for sure to test himself against Steyn and Morkel in Capetown or Johannesburg.  The home test farewell may well be richly deserving to Sachin Tendulkar, the man.  However, to Tendulkar the cricketer, a real contest would have meant a lot more.  In South Africa he may well have managed to emulate Sir Don Bradman by scoring a zero in his final test innings. Who knows? Going by what we saw in Mumbai yesterday (and I have always maintained) Sachin Tendulkar looked in ominous touch.  It may be that South Africa was a bridge too far.  This craving of mine originates from the very nerve-wracking yet rewarding personalised experience (true for most fans) every time Tendulkar had gone out to bat in test matches abroad.

One last point.  I don’t know whether Tendulkar ever walked off the field with his helmet in his hands (and not still on his head) after being dismissed.  He would remove his helmet on reaching hundreds…but he rarely ever walked to the pavillion with his helmet in his hand.  He was always under a helmet.  Revealing some and holding back a lot.  His bat did all the talking.  In his final innings, he turned around with his helmet off and for one last time, we had a glimpse of the man at a land mark which he cannot cross again.  Today, people were throwing petals  and not stones at him (“sometimes people throw stones at you and you convert them into milestones“- SRT).  It was surreal that stones could not deter the man while petals proved cathartic.

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Related.

1. to each their own (struggle)

2. unbreachable

Rahul Dravid: A good reason to follow Cricket

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

He mostly batted at number 3 for India in test cricket and occasionally at number 5. He opened the batting for India when others were ‘scared’ rather felt inadequate in seaming and bouncy conditions abroad.  He kept wickets in ODIs to help balance a weak batting line up. He led India to her first test series win away from the subcontinent (in England) in many years. He would wear the bowlers down through tonnes of concentration and set the stage for the stroke players at number 4 and 5 to capitalize on a tired bowling attack.

Rahul Dravid was not so chuffed about his nickname the Wall because I remember he once said people would start pointing at cracks in the wall when he didn’t score or was out of form.  The nickname Rahul the WALL Dravid doesn’t do justice to a man who adapted to so many difficult situations with shear grit and determination.  A wall, a brick wall may take a lot of pounding before it gives way.  But, a wall cannot do things that it is not built for.  Dravid was built for test cricket.  However, he could also build his game in ODIs (and later T20s) with remarkable finesse and consistency.

His legacy will not just be the most critical test runs he scored for India (don’t forget the thousands scored for Karnataka), not just the stunning catches he took standing at short leg and slips to Kumble, Srinath, Zaheer and others, not just the fact the he held the Indian cricket team together during a tumultuous time,  but also the fact that Dravid set a bench mark for maximum effort.  He worked hard to come up with an answer to almost every challenge that was thrown at him.  He never flinched, not even when in pain, but grafted to the limits of his abilities.

Dravid…when you were out bowled yesterday (6-OCT-2013) in your last professional innings during the finals of the Champion’s league, my eyes became moist.  I stood up and watched you walk back to your dug out.  You have given me a lot of joy.  They say no player is bigger than the game of cricket itself.  I would go as far to say that you are a good reason for people to follow cricket.  Those who don’t know anything about the game, may understand what cricket really stands for by knowing what you stood for in your career.  I wish you well. 

Tiger Pataudi on Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2010

A lot of stuff (has) been spoken about match fixing..hmm..I think I would like to talk about…the BCCI;  I am not particularly critical of the BCCI because I have been a part of it at least on the periphery…”  thus starts Tiger Pataudi (1941-2011) in a short speech he delivered in 2010.  In 2010 a big row irrupted in IPL administration (see Cricket, a tryst with destiny) taking everyone by surprise including its governing council appointed by the parent cricketing administrative body the BCCI (the board of control for cricket in India).  The IPL governing council had many credible members and one of them was Tiger Pataudi.  When asked, he was very honest to admit that they were not as vigilant as they could have been.

IPL, the Indian Premier League of T-20 Cricket, is not new to controversies and I have despised IPL since its inception for many things that it stood for and off late for many things it doesn’t stand for (I won’t go into the details).  You can call me a hypocrite for that I have been following some individual cricketers within IPL despite my reservations about the tournament.  That may not be the issue here.  Oh! Hang on.  May be it is.

Tiger Pataudi
Tiger Pataudi: A voice of reason amidst chaos
photo credit: Times of India

In the following audio excerpts former India cricket captain Tiger Pataudi details his position on what BCCI should stand for and what is the way out to clean the mess IPL finds itself in today (spot-fixing allegations).  He made these points in 2010 on two different occasions.  I have edited and combined them to get some sense of completeness. (click on the link)

Tiger Pataudi on IPL and BCCI
Check this out on Chirbit

Excerpt 1: In a speech as he reminisces his friend Raj Singh Dungarpur (Audio © Mandavrai group)

Excerpt 2: In an interview on the Straight Talk programme on NewsX.

I follow individuals in the game of cricket because it is individuals who bring credibility to the game. I follow their sports irrespective of the format they play in.  IPL or no IPL.  It makes no difference. Individuals win you games and teams lose games collectively (this sounds awfully like a political party trying to protect its leader). Individuals lose credibility and teams restore them.  It is a mysterious equation.  Indian cricket was at its lowest ebb during the Hansie Cronje match fixing scandal of the late 1990s.  It was individual integrity of a bunch of players who played for India (post-Cronje) that restored people’s faith in the game.  Tiger Pataudi highlights that individuals could be easily misled by unknown ill-elements outside the game.  He also argues for a strong transparent institution and in this case it is the BCCI.

We are individualists.  In that process, we have sacrificed institutions of governance, blinded (satisfied?) by an occasional individual of substance.  Isn’t this almost everything that is India?

Celebrity Branding

michael clarke-transformation
Michael Clarke: a brash talented young man (2004-05); goes through a slump (2008-10); to become a leader of men (2012-13)
article by Jovi Lim (Guest Contributor)
photo credits: getty images; the daily telegraph;

This is a guest contribution by Jovi Lim (a friend of CanTHeeRava)

Branding is an identity that is given to a product in order to distinguish it from other products in the same category.  Celebrities are high profile citizens of a society who usually distinguish themselves through their talent, skills and public presence.  Since a product needs branding to make it special in its category, promotion through celebrity branding offers a logical means of achieving success in a competitive market. Using two contrasting case studies we examine different aspects of celebrity branding, with particular focus on how an individual grows to become a responsible celebrity brand, how do companies go about dealing with celebrities and what can be concluded as best practices in a celebrity-company relationship.

The use of celebrity endorsement for product/brand promotion has significantly increased in recent years and companies worldwide have come to realize the impact celebrities have on potential consumers in convincing them about the product that is advertised. It is argued that celebrity endorsement could be essential, as it will help to build marketing communication between companies that employ a celebrity to promote their product and the consumer who would ultimately use that product. Celebrity endorsement is considered as an effective advertising tool to influence consumer-buying behavior as it is perceived that celebrities can transform the perception of a product by projecting the product’s image as something that brings benefit to the consumer.  However, celebrity endorsement of a product might also end up delivering negative publicity both to the advertised product and the endorsing celebrity. Celebrity endorsement has an element of risk in it since the star-promoter is always in the media limelight for reasons other than just product promotion. If for some reason there is some negative information about the celebrity, it has high chance of going viral in the modern free-online media and is likely to get more coverage than necessary in 24hour news channels. This could be detrimental to the image of the product and ultimately it will affect the buying behavior of consumers.

Celebrity culture: pros and cons

Celebrities tend to attract a fair share of public gaze for many reasons.  One of them is the general perception that most celebrities are wealthy and are associated with luxury goods, good looks (often cosmetic) and glamorous life styles. This trait of being celebrity feeds into a frenzy among ordinary people and that frenzy manifests itself as celebrity culture. From a marketing perspective they hold a lot of promise because they are capable of introducing new concepts in life styles and fashion. Societies love to hear and see something new and attractive from celebrities (usually gossips). Celebrities also get involved in environmental campaigns, social charity and give back to the societies in need.  Celebrities can give voice to their fans and raise their concern about social issues at a national level and lead a positive change. As a result, an aspiring fan develops a virtual relationship with his/her celebrity ‘idol’. Unfortunately, the ‘idol’ in a celebrity would not be worthy of worship in some cases.

Celebrity culture has an ugly side to it.  Everything a celebrity does becomes newsworthy.  Everything owned by a celebrity becomes a so-called ‘national treasure’. Celebrities using ‘curse’ words in public and in social-media negatively affect their followers, especially teenagers who will see the inappropriate language as something ‘cool’. Some celebrities sell their news by getting caught in scandals rather than being positively creative in their fields. Overemphasis of untested modern ideas by celebrity culture could challenge time tested good practices in a society and sometimes even be detrimental to good aspects in tradition.

Not all celebrities are high achievers

A celebrity usually becomes one by achieving a lot in a chosen field. However, not all celebrities are high achievers. Short-cuts to fame and stardom create an incompetent and compromising celebrity.  His agenda would be set by the endorsee and not determined by his own conviction.

Not all high achievers are role models

High achievers in any society tend to be positively self-motivated and do not give in to procrastination. They appreciate non-monetary rewards for their efforts that would otherwise make them wealthy. A society with which the high achievers interact tends to benefit from them.  High achievers will usually succeed in becoming a role model through their trustworthiness, credibility, and expertise. However, not all high achievers in a society can be role models.  Their single mindedness can make them arrogant and less empathetic. In their pursuit for excellence, high achievers in certain professions can lose touch with the real world.

Any celebrity or any high achiever is not a role model

Instant celebrities who come into existence through TV shows, a minute of fame or other means are likely to fade away very soon since they do not bring in either substantial expertise or lasting appeal. While most celebrities are mildly narcissistic (healthy self-love), a mediocre celebrity would be completely obsessed with himself.  Thus, not all celebrities have the charisma and passion to become real role models.

Keeping in view all of these nuances in mind, a company would weigh its option when it chooses to toe the route of celebrity branding.  It is very important to strike the right balance in choosing a real celebrity with a broad social appeal and a persona that allows people to naturally link him/her with the product/brand being promoted.  We will explore two contrasting case studies to draw reliable conclusions.

Case study 1:  Michael Clarke:  from a brash young man to a leader of men

Michael Clarke started playing cricket as a teenager and received the Australian Cricket Academy Scholarship (1999-2000) and soon represented New South Wales in the Australian domestic cricket circuit (Espncricinfo player profile, 2013). He made an eventful and successful beginning and stamped his image in the public space very early in his career. Clarke obtained an image of a flashy, page-3, Gen-Y cricketer in the first half of his international career (reference).  Since 2010, Clarke’s story has been an amazing example of positive turn-around, conscious brand building and preservation.

Michael Clarke_batting average and brand endorsement_Chart
Michael Clarke_batting average (year wise and not overall) and brand endorsement milestones

The graph above (batting average data sourced from espncricinfo) captures the international year wise test-batting career of Michael Clarke and the vertical lines highlight important events and their impact on his brand image.

(A)   International test debut; becomes an instant star by scoring a match-winning century and a series-winning freak bowling performance; wins an Alan Border Medal (2005);

(B)   The decline in batting form; dropped from the side; gets a lucky break again in 2006-07 at the cost of a team mate’s injury; performs really well during 2007 cricket world cup, which Australia wins; becomes vice-captain of Australian test team (2008)

(C)   Wins his second Alan Border Medal (2009); Endorses Aussie energy drink Synergy

(D)   A survey conducted by the newspaper Herald Sun finds that 45% Australian cricket fans see Michael Clarke as an over-rated cricketer despite him being a productive batsman during the 2009 Ashes series; Clarke leaves a series against New Zealand in March 2010 to address personal relationship issues; Loses the deal with Synergy; Retains composure to bat consistently during 2009-10 season amidst chaos in personal life.

(E)    Overcomes a career threatening back ailment. Vodafone comes along as a life-line (seeing the potential in him as a future captain) and signs him a 3-year endorsement worth nearly $1 million (Daily Telegraph 2010);  Officially takes over from Ricky Ponting as Australian Test Captain (March 2011); Several companies sign him as brand ambassador and his total deal is estimated to be worth at least $2 million/year…Soon, Clarke’s image becomes more serious and to remain consistent with the personality of a team captain, he stops endorsing underwears and shaving creams.

(F)    His batting hits a Bradmanish purple patch in 2012; Signs an unprecedented bat endorsement deal with Spartan Sports worth $ 1 million; Gets chosen as a brand ambassador by British Petroleum (a three year contract); His brand is worth almost $6 million a year because of cricketing prowess alone.  Wins his third Alan Border Medal (2012) for cricketing excellence.

Case study 2:  Lindsay Lohan: a star who fell off the grid

Lindsay Lohan is as American model, fashion designer, actress and recording artist refrence). Lohan started her career as a model when she was three years old. She became a teenage icon in early 2000s and was incredibly successful in attracting several leading companies towards her. In 2004, the movie “Mean Girls” starring Lohan became a blockbuster and brought her recognition.  By 2005 she had worked with high profile film-makers including Disney and continued to receive positive reviews by fans and critics alike.  However, a series of controversies including a driving incident (under the influence of alcohol) and deaddition rehabilitation brought a dark cloud over her career (starting 2006). Lohan did not act in any substantial venture for a long time.  Every time she ventured into a new activity, the media dragged her back into her embarrassing past.  She is still trying to make a comeback.

Discussion

Michael Clarke is one of those high achieving sportspeople who understood the stakes involved in being a real high achieving celebrity. Clarke has overcome many limitations to rise to the challenge of leading a competitive national cricket team  and has carefully positioned himself as a role model for the next generation. Trustworthiness and tangible achievements have led Clarke to many celebrity endorsement deals.  His aggressive style of captaincy that always pushes for a win has added value to his personality. Clarke has learnt how to earn and preserve good reputation.  Lindsay Lohan on the other hand is a high profile celebrity who has not succeeded in becoming a role model.

Brand-managers recognize certain individuals/companies/commodities as ‘risky’ brands.  Risks in a include compromise in core value, indifference towards competition, and ignorance towards market dynamics (Reliance Risk, 2010). Celebrities are expected to sell themselves as reliable people before they start endorsing companies and products. Any threat to their character is perceived as a threat to the product they endorse.

Choosing the right celebrity to endorse the right product is essential for ensuring long-term profits in any marketing scenario. A celebrity who is respected in the society is likely to positively influence consumer sentiments towards the product he/she endorses. Most often companies do not get tangible monetary profits after they opt for celebrity promotion. However, a well thought through celebrity endorsement deal brings in public trust (intangible benefits) and it will keep the company in good stead.

A company may choose to drop a celebrity as its brand ambassador when the celebrity is caught in a controversy.  However, all situations leading to controversies need not be solved through breaking an endorsement contract. Successful celebrities need to stick with their corporate promoters when the latter is not doing well.  E.g. Clarke should have continued to have links with his cricket bat sponsor of 16 years (Slazenger) in 2012 during his golden batting form. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen because his market value had become unaffordable to a small company like Slazenger. Similarly companies should invest in an individual’s potential and more often than not, they would reap benefits in the long run.

The risk of using an inappropriate celebrity could be more detrimental to the company than it is to the celebrity since the relationship is unequal. Companies should distinguish between a celebrity, a high achiever and a real role model when they are screening to hire an individual who ideally should sound synonymous with the product they are trying to promote/sell.  Celebrities need to guard their public persona and establish themselves as reliable people before they start endorsing companies and products.