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Mark Mascarenhas: The man who redefined celebrity management

The vision of one man who brought American style marketing expertise to Indian cricket in the 1990s is Mark Mascarenhas. Know more here about the man who redefined celebrity management.

SG
Last updated: 22.05.2022
Mark Mascarenhas The man who redefined celebrity management

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The fact that the TV rights for the cricket world cup now routinely command sponsorships worth thousands of crores; that IPL teams are worth hundreds of crores; that some big cricketers earn upwards of Rs 100 crore a year; and the BCCI, on account of its financial clout, has over the last two decades, become the most powerful cricket body in the world, are all because of the vision of one man who brought American style marketing expertise to Indian cricket in the 1990s who is Mark Mascarenhas. He made Sachin Tendulkar a millionaire overnight as his agent. It was a tragedy to Indian cricket that he died prematurely in a car accident a few years later.

 

Mascarenhas is credited with helping the mandarins of the game by showing them the commercial potential of the game. His efforts to ensure a top-notch telecast of cricket matches and roping in top commentators from around the world made him a favorite among the cricket broadcast community. During the inaugural ICC knockout trophy in 1998 in Bangladesh, the worldtel company were given the right to broadcast the tournament where he deployed an 18 camera setup which was unprecedented in those times.

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"The significant rise of cricket’s commercial value began only in 2000 with the ICC's eight-year media and sponsorship rights package being awarded for $550 million to a consortium of News Corp-owned GCC in association with World Sport Group and Nimbus. Until then, no cricket rights package had been sold for even $100 million. In an interview with former Australian captain Ian Chappell he recollected how Mascarenhas would successfully manage to entice him to the broadcasting assignments with Worldtel even if he was not up for it. It is a pity that Mascarenhas was not around when the T20 revolution kicked off.


Although Worldtel as a commercial enterprise did not quite live up to its initial promise, Mascarenhas would always be remembered for steering the commercial interests of Sachin Tendulkar to new heights with unflinching devotion, ensuring the Master Blaster’s game was never affected by off-field turmoil. Tendulkar has always acknowledged at greater length that Mascarenhas contributed to his development as a professional cricketer. Mascarenhas died in a road accident near Nagpur in 2002, at the age of 48. A visionary, he would have loved to play around the format with his trademark flamboyance and who knows, switch hit sixes could have been made more rewarding for batsmen.

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