India’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is still a sought after endorsement personality in the world despite his retirement from Tests, has been duped by one of the several brands he endorses right now. According to reports the brand is Spartan Sports and the amount is over Rs 20 crore.
It has been reliably learned that a three-year bat and sponsorship deal worth Rs 13 crore has gone sour with Australia-based Spartan Sports, a sporting gear, and equipment company, as they regularly default on payments.
With the royalty clause on Dhoni’s bat deal included, the owed amount goes well over a staggering Rs 20 crore.
Sources in the legal firm who advise Rhiti Sports, Dhoni’s management company, told PTI that Kunal Sharma-owned Spartan Sports has so far cleared out only four installments since the deal was struck in December 2013, the latest payment being made in March 2016.
When asked why the deal has gone on such a note, Rhiti Sports boss Arun Pandey didn’t want to elaborate and just said that, “everything is not smooth and hopefully the matter will be resolved soon”.
Spartan boss Sharma did not respond to calls and messages despite repeated attempts.
Apart from Dhoni, the Australian company has some big names in the cricketing world as its ambassadors — former Australian captain Michael Clarke, West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, England cricketer Eoin Morgan, former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson and Sir Viv Richards to name a few.
Some other current Australian cricketers associated with the brand are Joe Burns and Gurinder Sandhu.
While the deal with Spartan Sports is technically still on, Rhiti Sports have decided to to take legal action against the company which has its flagship store not only in Sydney but also in New Delhi.
Though Test captain Virat Kohli is the most sought after cricketer in the endorsement market, Dhoni remains in demand with his brand value worth over Rs 100 crore.
Dhoni currently endorses 15 brands besides co-ownership in ISL football franchise Chennaiyin FC and Hockey India League team Ranchi Rays.