Indian ODI and T20 International skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unveiled as the new global brand ambassador of Secured Venture Capital, an Australian based VC company led by former Australian pace spearhead Craig McDermott on Wednesday.
Dhoni, a very popular figure in the cricket loving country of Australia will also be the face of the Craig McDermott International Cricket Academy (CMICA), which is the country’s leading private cricket and educational sports academy.
Dhoni who was present during the press conference to announce the association looked delighted and felt that it was indeed an exciting prospect for him to become the first cricketer in the world to endorse a venture capital company.
“It is a very special day for me. I have had the privilege to be associated with some of the best brands, but this is my first association with a venture capital firm. Craig (McDermott) who runs Secured VC is a former Australian cricketer and I strongly believe he has inculcated the true values of a sportsperson into his business. I am excited to support his vision and look forward to working with the company closely.”
The 2011 World Cup winning skipper was also excited about the fact that being the face of CMICA will give him a chance to encourage and mentor young aspiring student cricketers both in India and Australia. He believes that the platform will provide him a great opportunity to give something back to the game.
Dhoni along with CMICA plan to develop a program which will give the students who travel to Australia under the educational sports category to be trained under the CMICA in Australia as well as an academy in India which will be run by Rhiti Sports Management and mentored by Dhoni.
“In today’s highly competitive environment, potential young student athletes often land up making a choice between education or sports. It’s rarely a case where one is able to focus on both aspects at the same time. I am happy to see that CMICA has taken the initiative to introduce programs that help students strike the balance between the two. Through this association I see several opportunities opening up for students in India and through my foundation and operational support from Rhiti Sports, we will be looking at developing “edu-sports scholarship programs” in the coming months”
Secured Venture Capital (www.securedvc.com.au) is into funding seed and late stage technology entrepreneurs. Secured Venture Capital has investments in various companies across a broad range of industries including pharmaceuticals, financial investment platforms, bio-technical hardware, real estate, direct investments, environmentally sustainable innovations and Dairy fund.
The company focuses on opportunities that originate in Australia that can be expanded into established global markets and invested in diverse and balanced portfolios of venture capital opportunities. Craig McDermott was pleased to welcome Dhoni into the SVC family and felt that he could not think of any better person when it came to signing a brand ambassador for the company.
“MS Dhoni is an exceptional athlete. He combines high performance in cricket with intelligence and astute leadership. These are qualities that are embedded in our company philosophy too. When we decided to expand our service offerings to markets like India and the sub-continent, MS was a natural choice. He is a highly respectable man and enjoys an outstanding reputation. I feel with MS as the face of our business, we will be able to expand our services more confidently and be able attract a lot of interest from these new markets. Besides, Dhoni’s association with CMICA will open a huge opportunity for young student cricketers to take up the game more seriously and get trained is a highly professional environment.”
The veteran with a scalp of more than 500 international wickets believes that Dhoni being the mentor of CMICA will do wonders to the young cricketers and will also usher in a new relation between the upcoming cricketers from both the countries.
Rhiti Sports Management, India’s leading sports marketing and management company, which manages Dhoni played a key role in engineering the deal.
Arun Pandey, Chairman and MD of Rhiti Sports admitted that it was interesting for his company to close this endorsement deal with Secured VC and hoped that this association augurs for a bright future ahead for all the people involved.
“This is one category that has never been endorsed by any cricketer in the world before. I am glad we were able to forge this association with Secured Venture Capital for MS Dhoni. Craig who was a cricketer himself has a strong vision to expand SVC’s service offerings to the world market. He wanted a face that represented strong values and commanded a global appeal. MS was a perfect choice and I am sure this new association with go a long way.”
Pandey also shared his thoughts on how the association with CMICA will further augment the value proposition of Rhiti’s own plans for reaching out the students’ community.
“It has always been my dream to develop an education-cum-sports program for the students community in India. Back in the days when I used to play cricket, we did not have the privilege to be taught and trained at the same time. To bridge this gap, Rhiti Sports has been working on an initiative for the past few months and now with CMICA we will be able to introduce programs in the Indian market and also encourage young talent to be groomed through scholarship programs.”