New Delhi: Ahead of the frist Test between India and England, starting November 9 in Rajkot, numerous Indian cricketers have been left without a bat advertiser.
Marquee sports gear and equipments manufacturer, Nike has pulled out of sponsorship of cricketers such as Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, etc.
Apart from not renewing contracts with the above mentioned trio, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav and Kedar Jhadav have been seen using plain bats or the ones with manufacturers' label.
Sponsoring cricket bats isn't a cheap marketing exercise in India. As per a report in TOI, companies shell out around Rs 7-10 crore per year to put their logos on willows on bats of players like Virat Kohli and M S Dhoni.
Nike India, who has been struggling with heavy losses of around 500 cr, has shut around 30% of its stores in the country to cut cost.
Despite their recent decision to cut costs, Nike remains one of the biggest spenders in cricket, paying around Rs 60 crore every year to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to as the official kit sponsor of Indian team.
Nike's rivals Adidas and Puma have also been seen resorting to other sports like kabaddi, football or Tennis.
German sportswear maker Puma, for instance, signed up Sakshi Malik as a brand ambassador and is reportedly investing in the sport at grassroots level.
Adidas on the other hand is the sponsor of a couple of top batsmen including KL Rahul apart from investing in other sports.