Kolkata: Soft drinks giant Coca Cola has signed up former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly as its face to promote football and the Under-17 FIFA World Cup to be played in India.
“Sourav Ganguly will lead our efforts on football and our activation plans for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup,” a company spokesman told IANS.
The three year deal would run till 2017.
The multinational company, one of the sponsors of the apex world soccer body,is one of the partners of the 2017 event.
However, the spokesman made it clear that FIFA was not involved in Ganguly’s appointment. “As it is our company which has signed him up.”
Ganguly, rated as one of the best cricket captains produced by India, co-owns Atletico de Kolkata, which emerged winners in the maiden edition of the Indian Super League last year.
The stylish former left-hand batsman replaces legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, whose deal with the beverage maker ended last year.
Describing Ganguly as a cricketer by accident and footballer by genes, Debabrata Mukherjee – a top Coca-Cola India official – alluded to the Kolkata boy’s leadership qualities and organizational skills as the prime reasons for having him on board.
“Given his leadership credentials, his deep involvement with international sports, his team building prowess, he will bring huge value to our healthy, active living programs including football,” he said.
Ganguly was earlier associated with the company as brand ambassador between 1997 and 2000.