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Saina Nehwal is top female sports endorser with Rs 1.5 crore Kellogg deal

MUMBAI: Badminton player Saina Nehwal, who climbed to the No. 1 rank for a brief time, has become the highest paid female sports endorser in the country by signing a Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) endorsement deal with cereal brand Kellogg.

The two-year deal makes Nehwal, the current world No. 2 in women’s singles, the highest paid female sports endorser in the country ahead of tennis player Sania Mirza and boxer Mary Kom.

“Kellogg is looking for a repositioning exercise with Saina… the advertising is likely to break next month,” Economic Times quoted a source as saying.

The 25-year-old already has endorsement deals for Yonex, Bajaj Nomarks cream, Iodex pain reliever, Indian Overseas Bank and the Sahara group, which the report mentions were signed for at least 20 per cent less.

Among the other female sportspersons in the sub-1 crore club are Tennis star Sania Mirza (endorses Adidas and Wilson), boxer Mary Kom (endorses Monnet Steel, Piramal and Dalmia Cement), and squash player Dipika Pallikal (endorses adidas).

Indian Cricket captain MS Dhoni is the highest paid male endorser in the country. He charges upwards of Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) for brand endorsement, while Virat Kohli’s fee is Rs 5-6 crore (Rs 50-60 million).

However, endorsement rates can vary as they depend to a large extent on the relationship the celebrity has with the brand.