Mikaela Viqueira |
New Delhi (EFE).- Carolina Marín reigns in India. 30 percent of her 433,000 Instagram followers are Indian; 25 percent are Spanish, they occupy the second place. And the Indonesians, the third in the admiration ranking. She plays in Delhi these days, in her house, as if she were in Huelva, her hometown.
“Wherever I go, everyone recognizes me in this country,” Marín admitted to EFE in an interview in New Delhi, where she was amazed by the love that this nation gives her despite the fact that at the Rio 2016 Games she prevailed against the Indian Pusarla Sindhu, her eternal rival, in her fight for Olympic gold.
«It was something that surprised me very pleasantly. They received me with an admiration and great affection that I did not imagine because, between quotes, I have taken the gold (from Sindhu). I feel grateful because many times, even when I go to the pavilion and compete, I feel as if I were in my own home, “she remarked.
With her triumphs, the current European badminton champion has also achieved what seems impossible for elite athletes who have nothing to do with football or basketball: that some of the most powerful brands in Spain want a place in their equipement.
Carolina Marín has built her own shelf in the showcase of the best athletes in the history of Spain for excelling in a sport that is not for the masses, but is emerging in the country, which has allowed her to show off Spanish sponsors throughout Asia, where badminton is considered a king sport, and she, one of its queens.
The Olympic champion not only managed with her spectacular track record to give this sport a space on the Spanish sports agenda, but has also gained great popularity in a country like India, which idolizes its people when they cross the barrier of world success.
The kit that Marín wears at this week’s Indian Open is sponsored by Movistar, Santander, LaLiga and Iberdrola, as well as Yonex, the quintessential Japanese badminton clothing label.
“Carolina, at a business level, has been of great interest on the part of Spanish companies,” Carolina Marín’s head of communication, Ignacio Paramio, told EFE.
Brands with a long international history, such as PlayStation, Toyota, Sony, or Amazon, among others, have also jumped on the bandwagon of sponsorship that is not limited only to carrying the brand logo, but also to participating in advertisements and marketing campaigns. advertising.
«We share the same values, that for me is fundamental, and I believe that this is teamwork. They use my image above all here, in Asia, which is where I have my most powerful image, and at the same time I have the support of Spanish sponsors and I am sponsoring that Spain brand”, affirms Marín.
The added value: Carolina herself
But, apart from international exposure, what does this athlete have for Spanish brands to trust her? Carolina Marín herself, “a very specific profile” because of the values she transmits, Paramio points out.
The history of this Olympic and three-time world champion of a discipline that only accounts for 0.2% of sports licenses in Spain «causes, whether they are brands or even fans, even if they are not badminton, to identify with her,” he stressed.
«The work, the effort, the resilience in the fight, at the same time, the patience with the injuries. Of course, these are values that not only belong to Carolina, of course, but perhaps Carolina has been able to transmit them for a long time in a very special way, “she specified.
Spanish brands with ‘likes’ from India
The fact that Marín is Spanish is still “exotic” for badminton fans, who are mostly concentrated in Asia, and this causes it to generate a lot of attraction, since “there are certain cultural similarities”, especially with India and Indonesia, he explained. Paramium.
In fact, the Asian giant represents more than 30% of the 433,000 followers that Marín amasses on Instagram, surpassing the Spanish, who are in second place, followed by the Indonesians. The Asian country even offered him to participate in a film about the Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal, bronze in London 2012.
“It is a very big difference because here it is magnified, it is a king of sports that is present on television, in the media (…) and in Spain that costs us a little more. Yes, it is true that through the great titles that I have achieved, voice has been made of it, but compared to India, there is still a lot to do, “said Marín.