The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blaster follows in master’s footsteps

New Delhi, Oct. 25: Adidas India has roped in Virendra Sehwag as its latest brand endorser. The shoe major already has an ongoing contract with Sachin Tendulkar.

The company announced today that Sehwag would endorse its products that include sports footwear, apparel and accessories for an initial period of three years. “The contract with Tendulkar is from 1998 to 2004 and it remains that way,” the company clarified.

“We had the master with us and now we also have the blaster,” said Tarun Kunzru, managing director, Adidas India. The other Indian sportspersons who endorse Adidas include tennis stars Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. Sehwag has been on a roll with several companies scrambling to sign brand endorsement deals with him before the World Cup next February. “I am associated with six-seven brands; other new endorsements may also come up,” he said.

Sehwag endorses Coke (in an advertisement along with Sunil Gavaskar), Samsung and Hero Honda brands. Other brands that he has helped sell are Colgate and Boost.

Talking about business plans of Adidas India, Kunzru said the company has recently tied up with Woodlands Shoes, to place its products in about 20 Woodlands retail outlets. At present, Adidas is available in 80 exclusive outlets and 450 multi-brand outlets in 45 cities across India.

To increase its current market share of 35 per cent, the company is counting on sprucing up its distribution and is coming up with a low-end price product in the Rs 1,000-price point, said Kunzru. The Adidas range is available between Rs 1,199-7,000.

Adidas entered the Indian market in 1996 by opening a 100 per cent subsidiary, which later went in for a joint venture with Magnum International Trading Company.

Adidas has a 91.4 per cent stake in the venture at present.

Kunzru said Adidas is open to the idea of raising its stake to 100 per cent but there were no immediate plans to do so.

He refused to divulge the turnover of the company or even the promotional spend of the company.

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