First-ever big title honour this year, Sindhu takes home a trophy and the biggest cheque of the year too

First big title win this year, Sindhu pockets her biggest pay cheque too
Pv Sindhu Poised with her trophy of the year and a gold medal after emerging as the winner in the World Tour Finals. (Sourced from Screengrab/Hotstar)

Going beyond the mark after gathering a total of six silvers in some of the major finals in 2018, PV Sindhu cashed one of the biggest cheques of USD 1.2 lakh in just one week. This is an equivalent of Rs 86.30 lakh. She emerged the winner on Sunday at the World Tour Finals hosted in Guangzhou after beating Nozomi Okuhara 21-19 in the first set and 21-17 in the second set. Sindhu has been having a trail of loses in major and minors but this one gave her a comeback of the year. This particular win takes her tally to over Rs 4.22 crore this year.

Sindhu remained unbeaten over the week at the World Tour Finals. She recorded healthy wins over her opponents with big names in the competition such as Akane Yamaguchi, Ratchanok Intanon, Tai Tzu Ying, and Okuhara whom she faced in the 2017 World Championship.

Sindhu didn’t hide her joy of winning the big title. “It is now clear that you people will not get into the reason why I have been losing finals. It is true that you have been asking me all the time why I get to the finals then fails to win. But I feel happy in a way. Just to be sincere, the pressure people have been giving me made me start thinking about what has gone wrong with me,” she said.

This one particular win pushed her to the third position in the players’ rankings and also third in women’s badminton single prize earnings in 2018 after Tai Tzu Ying (Rs 7.98) and Ratchanok Intanon (Rs 4.90 crore). The Badminton’s Asia-centric reach does not allow Sindu to even feature in top 10. The list is made up of ski racer Lindsey Vonn, gymnast Simone Biles, MMA star Ronda Rousey, racer Danica Patrick, Williams sisters, and athlete Allyson Felix.

However, she has made her name to feature among the highest-earning sportswomen, a list led by Serena Williams whose total earning is USD 18.1 mn (RS. 130 crore). Before her historic win, Forbes magazine had ranked Sindhu seventh in the list with grand prize and endorsement of Rs. 61.13.

Talking to the Indian Press, Sindhu’s endorsement manager Tuhin Mishra said that before the corporate had shied away from a Rs 20 lakh sponsorship before the Rio Olympics. “Her endorsement has been on top and in the range of 2-2.5 crore, and it has been at the top until the Tokyo Olympics. After this title, her endorsement will be in the range of 3.5-4 crore,” Mishra said.

From the Mishra’s point of view, the popularity gained by Sindhu in India is as a result of her humility and simplicity as well as how she bears with the public demand. “She meets the stiffest competitors every time she goes to play in her very many series of games. It’s not like in the cricket where there are only two major competitions in a year. Beating all the competitors and getting to the finals in itself is a big achievement, and now she has touched her first ever trophy,” he said.

“Brands are signing new partnership agreements with her… the notion that the cricket players earn much higher is a misconception. The only people who earn are the tops ones (the first two or three positions). Sindhu’s earning is up there and is even higher than many cricketers put there,” he said.

Sindhu has endorsed a number of brands including JBL headphones, APIS Honey, Bridgestone, Myntra, Panasonic batteries, J&J, Bank of Baroda, Vizag Steel, and Gatorade. She has a major deal with the insurance company, and also share equipment sponsorship with Yonex which is estimated to be within the Rs 4-5 crore range.

Sindhu, when speaking in the Express Adda event held on 4th December, mentioned that she is glad to be ranked among the top-earners. She added that it was her parent who was managing all the deals while she is just into badminton game.

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