Adidas Hima Das-ed: Signs endorsement deal with the sprinting sensation

Sprinting sensation Hima Das has signed an endorsement deal with leading sportswear brand Adidas. Indian division of the company announced on Tuesday that Hima Das would be its new brand ambassador.

It is very rare for a non-Cricket sportsperson in India to land an endorsement with a global sportswear brand like Adidas; therefore this comes as encouraging news for Indian athletes hoping to make it big on the international stage.

Hima shot to fame when she became the first ever Indian to win a gold medal in an international track and field event when she topped the 400-meter event at the World Under-20 Championships held in Finland this year. This was followed by three medals at the Asian Games in Indonesia, which included one gold and two silver medals.

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Addressing the event announcing the endorsement deal, senior marketing director of Adidas India Sean Van Wyk said, “Hima is the biggest track and field athlete in India today. She was wearing Adidas sprint spike shoes when she won the gold medal in Finland, and we realised it was a great opportunity for us to join forces with her. Her amazing personality, perseverance and the drive to succeed embodies what Adidas stands for”.

Hima Das with Adidas India executives announcing the endorsement deal

Hima will appear in an integrated multimedia advertising campaign of the company which will be targeted at young athletes of the country. Wyk added that the company would leverage her presence in global campaigns of the company also.

Hima announced the endorsement deal with Adidas on Twitter, which featured a creative for the create history campaign of the company.

According to celebrity managers, Hima is estimated to receive an annual fee anywhere between ₹10 lakh to ₹15 lakh, along with various racing and training gear from the company. During the event, the company presented Hima with a customised pair of shoes with Hima Das written on one shoe and ‘create history’ written on the other.

Yesterday union govt has announced that Hima will be awarded the Arjuna award this year, while Assam government had announced a reward of Rs 1.60 crore for earlier this month. Hima comes from a very humble family in Assam and she shot to national limelight even without any formal training in sprinting.

It may be noted that Adidas will be providing Asian Games gold medalist Swapna Barman customised shoes to fit her feet with six toes each. Sports Authority of India has tied up with the company to prepare the specially-designed gear for the heptathlete.

Other than a number of Indian cricketers, squash player Dipika Pallikal, tennis player Zeel Desai and Siddhant Banthia, and boxer Nikhat Zareen are already part of the Adidas India family. In last few years Indian players have performed well in various other sports, and finally, they are getting what they deserve, including increased popularity among people, support from government and respective sports associations, and endorsement deals from the corporate world.

One of the constant complaints of Indian athletes and players of sports other than cricket has been the lack of financial support. While cricketers can give their 100% attention to the game as their financial security is taken care of by cricket boards and endorsement deals, players of other don’t have this luxury. Training for participating at the international level, purchasing proper kit and gear, hiring a top class nutritionist, trainer etc. cost a lot of money. And often only the affluent can indulge in such sports on a full-time basis.

Worldwide, the corporate sector provides the sportspersons with the necessary financial support. And it is encouraging to see it being extended to India. Till a few years ago, advertisers didn’t consider non-cricket players worthy of endorsement deals, but now that is changing. With Indian players excelling in sports like athletics, boxing, badminton, wrestling etc., it is expected that more and more companies will come forward to sign endorsement deals with them.

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