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Ringside View: Neeraj Chopra, Hima Das and Tejaswin Shankar are new stars of Indian sports; how sponsors are chasing them

11 6 14

There’s one thing common between javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, quarter-miler Hima Das and high jumper Tejaswin Shankar: they’re the best in their art in the country by a mile. The trio has almost come from oblivion and taken athletics by storm.

Chopra and Das’ exploits at the recently concluded Asian Games have just reaffirmed their credentials of being top-drawer athletes. So naturally, recognition followed their laurels, and sponsors their recognition. Just over a week back, Das signed an endorsement deal with German sportswear giant Adidas. According to her manager, at least a dozen sponsorship deals are in the pipeline and a few, including one with a major mobile phone brand, has already been finalised. It’s not everyday that a global brand that is associated with stars like Lionel Messi and Novak Djokovic comes in search of a track and field athlete from India. But there were reasons. At the official signing day, Das beamed as she announced, “Hima Das is now Adidas.”

Chopra is understandably the most sought after track and field athlete from the country. Late last year, he was signed by American sports beverage manufacturer........

© The Financial Express