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Saina Nehwal signs 2-year deal with IOS Sports and Entertainment

MUMBAI: Delhi-based sports management company IOS Sports and Entertainment has signed up badminton star Saina Nehwal for a period of two years.

IOS will exclusively manage the Olympic medallist’s endorsements, appearances, brand profiling, patents, licensing and digital rights, images and visibility on social networking sites.

Saina NehwalThe announcement comes just after Nehwal became the first Indian ever to win a silver medal in the Badminton World Championship at Jakarta. Nehwal already has 23 international titles to her credit.

IOS said it will target Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million) over two years, depending upon her performance in Rio Olympics and her stability to maintain World Number 1 ranking.

The 25-year-old shuttler said, “I have been performing well in the international circuit but at the same time I was looking for a sports management group that could manage my overall brand portfolio and logistics plus commercial activities in the best professional way. I am really convinced in the manner in which IOS has built MC Mary Kom as a big brand in the industry and that was the major reason I decided to join hands with them”.

Incidentally, Nehwal had signed a three-year contract for a whopping Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million) with Rhiti Sports in 2012. However, they parted ways in less than two years and CAA Kwan managed her endorsements for over a year, till January 2015.

CAA Kwan had got Nehwal her biggest deal, Iodex. Additionally, in the last six months CAA Kwan signed her for Microsoft, Myntra (three months of digital media campaign) and Reboso.

Brand managers feel that among the non-cricket sports stars, Nehwal has the highest brand equity. She has 5-6 traditional long-term contracts and charges around Rs 5-7.5 million annually.

IOS Sports and Entertainment MD and CEO Neerav Tomar said, “We are pleased to welcome another top women sportsperson of the world into the IOS family. Saina is an achiever. At such a young age, she inspires millions of youngsters in the country and has become a national icon. She is superbly talented and a world class competitor who demonstrates a very strong character through her passion and commitment to the game. I believe she has the ability to translate those qualities into achieving great success working with global brands in the marketplace.”

IOS also manages boxers Mary Kom and Vijender Singh. The company recently signed cricketer Suresh Raina for a three-year period.

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