Ah, cricket matches – one of the two occasions annually where every Indian feels the patriotic surge and cheers for the nation, our cricket team and those individuals playing representing our nation. The matches are gripping and over some time we gradually shift to affiliate with the individuals playing for the nation more than the game itself. The essence of the sport isn’t lost, but is grown fonder by the personal attachment to cricketers. Make no mistake – cricket is one luxuriously paid sport for those that make it and not just financially but also socially. Most cricketers continue their lavish lifestyles by expanding their financial choices to include advertisements, endorsements and some even go far as to have a share in a start-up or entrepreneur business.
Here are some cricketers that have successfully setup their own businesses:
Former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni has ventured into multiple start-ups and businesses including the franchise SportsFit World Pvt Ltd, which has several stores open and functional in India already. Along with Sahara India Pariwar, Dhoni is also a co-owner of Ranchi based Hockey club Ranchi Rays, a franchise of the Hockey India League. Along with Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani, Dhoni is also a co-owner of Chennai based Football club Chennaiyin FC, a franchise of the Indian Super League. His interest in motorcycles also made him co-partner Akkineni Nagarjuna in buying a Supersport World Championship team Mahi Racing Team India.
One of India’s most loved skipper, Sunil Gavaskar realized the potential of his brand name and image and set up his own sports management company way back in 1985 called Professional Management Group (PMG). Back in the day sports management was an almost entirely alien concept, which gave rise to the brand’s immense fame and prosperity in business.
Kohli has invested into a chain of gyms and fitness centers across the country. Stated to launch 75 outlets and use international standards and expert advice on fitness, Chisel Fitness would attract the current celebrity status supported by Kohli. Kohli already has a joint stake in FC Goa, a football franchise which is part of the Indian Super League and a clothing line called WROGN.
Following the likes of Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar or Sehwag, Zaheer went on the launch his own signature brand of restaurants. Titled ZK, started in Pune in 2005 and still stands tall. From sports to food – Zaheer spells the way to success using his name and image to the maximum strength.
After dabbling in the food business like several other cricketers, Virender Sehwag launched a unique school under his name, the Sehwag International School in Haryana, which focuses on 360 degree development of students in an environment that nurtures their passions. And yes, the school does focus on sports and physical fitness.
Yuvi’s stints with entrepreneurs and businesses started with launching a sports based e-commerce online store called sports365.in, focused on selling sports goods and fitness equipments. Being a survivor himself, his organization YouWeCan has helped hundreds of cancer patients and has shared deals with several high profile funders including an exclusive app by Microsoft, which shares revenues with the organization. He will also float a venture fund to support young entrepreneurs in India, where investors can buy shares in exchange for high-risk/high-return transactions.