Olympic and World Championship silver medalist P V Sindhu has signed a record sports sponsorship deal in the tune of £5 million with Chinese sports brand Li Ning. The deal comes after compatriot Kidambi Srikanth was offered a cool £3.5 million over a period of four years by the Chinese company last month. “Sindhu’s deal is one of the biggest in world badminton. It is close to £5 million for sponsorship and equipment,” Mahender Kapoor, director, Sunlight Sports Pvt Ltd, the multi-national exclusive partner of Li-Ning in India, said.
“It will be a deal which is very close to Puma’s deal with Indian cricketer Virat Kohli in terms of yearly sponsorship. Sindhu will get £4 million as sponsorship while the rest will be for equipment, so it is close to £5 million,” Kapoor claimed. In 2017, Puma had signed Kohli for reported deal of £10 million endorsement deal for a period of eight years, which came down to £1.25 million per year.
Sindhu, who rose to stardom after becoming the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, was listed as the world’s seventh-highest paid sportswoman on the Forbes list last year. This is Li-Ning’s second stint with Sindhu, who was with them for two years in 2014-2015 for a sum of £12,50,000 a year.
In 2016, Sindhu was back with Yonex for a £3,50,000 per year contract for a period of three years. Li-Ning also roped in men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy for a deal of £4,00,000 each for two years, while former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap has been offered a £8,00,000 deal for two years. The Chinese sports brand had also signed a two-year deal with Indian Olympic Association last year. As part of the deal, it will provide Indian athletes and officials with competition and training apparel, leisure-wear and footwear for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.