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Percept Talent set to popularise athletes

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) The cricketing stars usually hog the limelight, but now Percept Talent Management (PTM) has decided to popularise athletes especially those who cornered glory at the 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG).

‘We already represent (wrestler) Sushil Kumar, (boxer) Vijender Singh, (and shuttlers) Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa. We will sign up deals for Kumar for a variety of products,’ PTM CEO Rajnish Sahay said in a press statement Wednesday.

Kumar recently struck a deal with the National Egg Co-ordination Committee.

Sahay said he is talking to 16 CWG medal winners across different disciplines to represent them for, among other things, endorsements. One of them is shuttler Saina Nehwal, who is said to command Rs.10 million for an endorsement.

The challenge for the CWG medal winners is to maintain visibility throughout the year.

‘It cannot be that after the Asian Games the athletes disappear from the scene. They have to perform at an international level. They have to be visible in the media regularly. If it is just a one-off, then the sponsor who has done a one year deal might not get the desired value,’ said an analyst.

Deals between PTM and the athletes will be for three to five years.

‘Health, sports, fitness and lifestyle brands will be the ones most interested in associating with these athletes. Our job is to manage PR, appearances, and events that sportspeople that we represent feature in. We will also look after their digital rights,’ said Sahay.

To create more visibility for other sports, Sahay said they are talking to the Wrestling Federation of India to have grassroots programme as well as entertainment sports events featuring Indian and international stars.

Sahay said the coverage of non-cricket events has grown especially if an Indian participant does well.

‘Things are changing in this respect. The push that Percept will give to different sports will also help give the athletes visibility. There are also international events that take place regularly,’ Sahay added.

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