, the world’s No. 1 two-wheeler manufacturer by volumes, has roped in Tiger Woods as its brand ambassador in a four-year deal pegged at Rs 200 crore, making it the most expensive celebrity endorsement yet for an Indian company.
“Tiger Woods is one of the biggest global icons and not just a sports celebrity. His appeal cuts across geographies, nationalities, age and gender and therefore, he is the best brand fit to be our ‘Global Corporate Partner’ as we go global,” Pawan Munjal, Hero chief told ET in an exclusive chat on Tuesday. “We have lined up exciting campaigns to build on the core values of Hero in our global markets and Tiger is going to play an integral role in these initiatives. Our campaign with him will be on multiple platforms – print, electronic, digital, social and outdoor.”
The company did not share the financial details of the deal, but analysts pegged it at about Rs 200 crore.
While Hero MotoCorp has always had popular Indian stars from the fields of sports and cinema as its brand ambassadors, this is the first time the company has signed up a top global sporting icon, a move that fits well with the company’s global expansion plans.
Woods, who has won 14 major golf championships, said, “It allows me to be involved with the world of two-wheelers and the vision of Pawan and Hero MotoCorp. We have a shared vision…for me, any collaboration and partnership has to be something that’s important to me. I greatly appreciate Hero sponsoring the Hero World Challenge that benefits my foundation, and my new role will greatly expand our worldwide relationship.”
In mid-September, Hero had announced a separate four-year deal with the Tiger Woods Foundation to become the title sponsor of the Hero World Challenge, a PGA Tour event. This year’s event starts on Thursday at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Florida, with 18 top golfers competing in the $3.5 million event.
It was at Munjal’s invitation that Woods first came to India in February this year. Hero also supports its brand ambassadors and top golfers Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Daniel Chopra and Sharmila Nicollet.
Munjal, a sports enthusiast, is responsible for the company’s association with various sports for more than two decades. A keen golfer, he is the past chairman of the Asian PGA Tour Board of Directors and the past president of Professional Golfers Association of India (PGAI). The company also hosts the annual Hero Indian Open Golf tournament, which sees participation from international marquee players.
Outside India, Hero’s products sell in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Congo and Angola.
Last week, the company commenced retail sales of its bikes in Colombia, which is among the three top two-wheeler markets in Latin America. Hero is also building a manufacturing plant in Villa Ricca in the Cauca province near Cali.
Hero is also building a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh through a joint venture partnership with the Nitol Niloy group. Through its local distributor partners, Hero has also established assembly units in Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda that would go on-stream in next few months.