New Delhi:Reactions continue to come in about cola makers Pepsi not renewing their contract with Sachin Tendulkar. Does this signify the beginning of the end for the Bombay Bomber, does it mean that as far as Sachin goes, Yeh, dil maange no more?
The soft drink giant decided not to renew his contract, which expired in May this year, bringing to an end a 16-year-old association.
The move has surprised most people. Sachin was with Pepsi since he was a scrawny 19-year-old. From Yeh Hi Hai Right Choice Baby to Yeh Dil Maange More to the Blue Billion campaign, the master blaster always had the trademark Pepsi bottle in his hand.
Shailender Singh, managing director, Percept, says, "Every sportsperson's career comes to a stage when it reaches a fatigue factor and that's when you see things like this happen when a big brand drops them and opts for youth instead. It makes for interesting news, but it's a normal phase."
Sachin seems to have been a victim of a necessary corporate change. The new look Youngistan campaign it seems has no place for the Bombay Bomber, and the mantle has passed onto the likes of MS Dhoni and Sreesanth. In fact, parallel to Sachin's contract not being renewed comes news of Pepsi signing on the Sharmas - Ishant and Rohit.
The target consumer of any cola company, say industry sources, is the age group of 14-21. It's true that very few in that bracket today will remember Sachin in his prime so a viewer disconnect is possible.
However, brand Sachin can definitely not be questioned in India even if he's lost out the title of top earner through endorsements to a certain MS Dhoni.