Endorsements, sponsorships and partnerships in Indian football have grown manifold in the last few years.
From complete ignorance and simple handpicking of popular national team players to major deals in the Indian Super League (ISL) and the women’s teams, brand associations in Indian football have come a long way. In fact, it’s almost like a turnaround as of today. With growth and the potential for mutual benefit, brands, in fact, want to be associated a lot more in this market. This is why you’d probably have seen a ton of endorsements by Indian football athletes on social media lately. On this note, here’s a look at 10 Indian footballers who endorse international brands.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – Red Bull
The 30-year-old custodian is a pioneer when it comes to Indian footballers and associations with the international brand Red Bull. From drifting on the streets of Jordan to fitness training videos and social media challenges, he does it all. So much so that it’s a part of his pre-match preparation routine, he says. Essentially, this is one of the most prominent partnerships in Indian football if not Indian sports.
Sandesh Jhingan – Adidas
In February, Adidas signed a multi-year deal with ace defender Sandesh Jhingan. With that, he joined the brand’s elite international pool of athletes such as Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah and Paul Pogba to name a few. Overall, the deal is set to work towards the goal of building grassroots football in India.
Sunil Chhetri – Puma
In 2019, the Indian skipper signed a three-year deal with Puma — becoming the brand ambassador of the renowned global sportswear brand. From champions in Virat Kohli to Mary Kom, Puma has been fueling the growing passion for sports across disciplines. Similarly, such a deal with India’s all-time top scorer was a huge move; the impact of which has been severe, on the Indian sporting ecosystem overall.
Aditi Chauhan – Naturaltein
Naturaltein is a German Natural and Organic Nutrition protein supplement company. Alongside cricketers such as Shivam Mavi and Dhruv Jurel, she’s the only Indian footballer to join hands with the brand. This is another feather in her cap of breaking gender stereotypes and being a vocal advocate of the women’s game.
Dalima Chhibber – Itel
A two-time SAFF Women’s Championship winner, Chhibber has been making headlines for all the right reasons. From being vocal about the AFC Asia Women’s Cup to stunning performances for club and country, she’s a major name in Indian football. At the moment, she endorses the Hong Kong-based mobile brand Itel. This company focuses on cost-effective and high-specs mobile devices.
Lallianzuala Chhangte – Optimum Nutrition
Earlier this year, Chhangte moved from Chennaiyin FC to Mumbai City. This generated quite a buzz and was among the biggest transfers last season. Statistically speaking, he is the third-highest Indian scorer in the ISL. Alongside, he’s a veteran with the national team. As a result, he’s had multiple brands approach him throughout. One such international brand is Ireland-based Optimum Nutrition. This is a subsidiary of Glanbia, a leading international cheese and nutritional ingredients group.
Akash Mishra – Myprotein
Simply put, Akash Mishra is one of India’s finest fullbacks at the moment. Alongside winning the ISL, in February 2022, he became the first Indian to feature in the FIFA 22 Team of the Week. Currently, he endorses the UK-based sports and nutrition brand, ‘MyProtein’. This is a brand that has partnerships with clubs such as Burnley FC and Nottingham Forest.
Mohammad Nawaz – Guardian GNC
Mohammad Nawaz joined Mumbai City in September last year. This was a move that came after a brilliant spell with FC Goa prior. Since then, he’s their first choice ‘keeper and has showcased his skills internationally as well — at the AFC Champions League. At the moment, he endorses the US-based fitness and wellbeing supplements brand Guardian GNC.
Sahal Abdul Samad – Puma
Speak of rising Indian players and Sahal is one of the first that comes to mind. His crucial role in the midfield was a factor that led Kerala Blasters to the 2021-22 ISL final. This journey, however, began much before. That is when he joined KBFC’s senior team and won the Emerging Player Award in 2020. The same year, he signed a deal with Puma as their new global ambassador. With it, he joined Puma’s elite roster of Indian footballers including Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.