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    Dec 2009

    Default Dhoni Signs Biggest Endorsement Deal Of Rs 26 Cr With UB Group

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    Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has signed signed the biggest endorsement deal for an Indian sportsperson with Vijay Mallya's UB Group, valued at more than Rs 8 crore a year.

    Dhoni has signed a three-year endorsement deal with the country's largest spirit maker for Rs 25-26 crore, two officials in direct knowledge of the deal told Economic Times.

    "UB plans to activate the deal just before the Cricket World Cup kicks off in February," one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.

    India is co-hosting the world cup along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and corporates are scrambling to associate with the event as well as top Indian cricketers to make the most of the cricket craze in India.

    The deal puts the Indian captain at par with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the endorsement space, just behind Aamir Khan, who early this year signed a record Rs 30-crore deal with telecom operator Etisalat.

    Dhoni will be associated with McDowell's soda, the officials said. But it is an integrated deal that will go beyond brand endorsements , they added.

    A UB Group spokeswoman said, "Yes, a deal has been signed between the UB group and the India captain MS Dhoni." She, however, refused to disclose financial or other details of the deal. A formal announcement by the UB group is expected in January .

    The deal has been inked through the Arun Pandey-promoted talent management and entertainment firm Rhiti Sports Management, which recently signed a Rs 210-crore contract with Dhoni to manage all his endorsements , brand associations, patents and digital rights, images , visibility on social networking sites and merchandise for three years. Pandey could not be reached for comment.
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