Melbourne, Mar 22 : The popularity of Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is soaring despite the recent one day series defeat against India, and with advertisers still banking on him for marketing their products.
Todd Deacon, General Manager of Sweeney Sports, which named Ponting as Australia's most marketable sports star last year, said the fact Ponting was at the top of a national sport, was a prime factor in his marketability.
The position of Australian cricket captain was "iconic" in this country, agreed Agent Max Markson.
Industry experts' estimate that Ponting is making about two million dollars from his Australian endorsement deals alone.
Taking into account his earnings from cricket, the Australian skipper is said to be worth four million dollars per year. This includes an almost million-dollar base salary from Cricket Australia.
His popularity and sporting prowess has him making money from media organisations, commercial sponsorship, publishing and licensing his image.
Most recently, Ponting was appointed as the new face of Valvoline.
The Daily Telegraph quoted top cricketing managers as saying that the deal would be worth 250,000 dollars per year.
But his biggest earner from endorsements is said to be his contract with Kookaburra Bats, at an estimated 350,000 dollars.
According to the paper Ponting's ads for Rexona deodorant are earning him between 200,000 dollars and 250,000 dollars based on industry sources estimates. His plugging of Pura Milk and Swisse Vitamins combined is worth up to 300,000 dollars.
Adidas is estimated to pay Ponting up to 150,000 dollars to endorse its athletic wear.
And Atari games is said to pay 100,000 dollars to use Ponting's image on games such as the Ricky Ponting 2007 Pressure Play.
He is believed to earn between 1-1.5 lakh dollars to produce his yearly captain diaries for HarperCollins Publishers.
Ponting's expertise and high profile in sport also makes him an attractive sports commentator. He writes a weekly column for The Weekend Australian, owned by News Limited, publisher of The Daily Telegraph, which is estimated to pay him 100,000 dollars per year.
Channel 9 pays him an estimated 200,000 dollars to retain him for use on a wide range of programs, including cricket coverage, sports show, news and current affairs programs, and lifestyle shows.
For lending his image to Legends Memorabilia, Ponting is estimated to make about 100,000 dollars.
Story first published: Saturday, March 22, 2008, 11:25 [IST]
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