April 20, 2024

Former Indian cricket captain, MS Dhoni, has been spotted in training sessions using a bat with the “Prime Sports” sticker.

But what exactly is “Prime Sports”? Is it a new player in the dynamic world of sports advertising?

The bat prominently displays the name “Prime Sports,” indicating Dhoni’s gesture of promoting his childhood friend’s sports shop as he gears up for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season.

This heartwarming display underscores Dhoni’s deep-rooted bond with his childhood companion, Paramjit Singh, who played a pivotal role in the initial phase of his cricketing journey.

Dhoni has frequently acknowledged the unwavering support he received from his friends, particularly during the early stages of his career. Notably, one of his friends facilitated his first bat sponsorship deal, a testament to the enduring camaraderie shared among them.

The presence of the “Prime Sports” sticker on Dhoni’s bat resonates with the theme of friendship and solidarity depicted in the 2016 biographical film, “MS Dhoni: The Untold Story,” which shed light on the cricketer’s personal and professional life.

MS Dhoni with the ‘Prime Sports’ sticker bat. It is owned by his friend. MS thanking him for all his help during the early stage of his career. pic.twitter.com/sYtcGE6Qal

Dhoni’s utilization of bat space to honour those who have supported him isn’t new. During the 2019 World Cup, he notably wielded multiple bats, each adorned with different brand logos – SG, SS and BAS; symbolizing his gratitude towards various sponsors and allies.

“Dhoni’s agent approached everybody for a contract before the 2019 World Cup,” said Paras Anand, Marketing Director of SG [Sanspareils Greenlands] to Scroll.in.

“The level at which he was with the other brands that he was associated with [sticker sponsors like Reebok and Spartan], that amount of money no bat manufacturer could afford. Unfortunately, no big brand came forward because they may have thought that he will retire after the World Cup.

“Now, as far as SG, SS and BAS were concerned, he had an association with us from the start of his career. He started with BAS and then had a long partnership with SS. And then we also started servicing him irrespective of whether he was using our sticker. So the 2019 World Cup was his way of acknowledging us and saying thanks to the brands who supported him through his career,” added Anand.

“We were worried initially, we thought it wouldn’t send a good signal to the consumers. But eventually we realised that any publicity is good publicity.”

Amid speculation about his future, MS Dhoni, having recovered from knee injury issues after surgery last year, is set to lead the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season. Following his successful leadership that led CSK to triumph last year, Dhoni has confirmed his return for at least another year, dispelling rumours of retirement from the IPL.

In the IPL 2023 final against the Gujarat Titans (GT), CSK emerged victorious, securing a five-wicket win via the DLS method.

In the final showdown, GT set a formidable target of 215 runs, posting 214/4 in 20 overs, with Sai Sudharsan leading the charge with a blistering knock of 96 off 47 balls. CSK’s Matheesha Pathirana scalped two wickets.

Despite the challenging target, CSK, guided by Dhoni’s leadership, chased down 171 runs in 15 overs, finishing at 171/5, propelled by Shivam Dube’s unbeaten 32* off 21 balls.