Raina joins IOS Sports, leaves Rhiti Management

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Mohali: India's Suresh Raina plays a shot during practice session at PCA stadium, Mohali in Chandigarh on Tuesday. PTI Photo

Suresh Raina has left Rhiti Sports Management, run by Arun Pandeya close friend of MS Dhoni. Raina has joined IOS Sports and Entertainment in a deal to be worth Rs 35 crore over the next three years.

It’s learnt the India ODI captain had ownership stakes in Rhiti and so managed a few of his teammates with India and the Chennai Super Kings. One of them, Raina has now left Rhiti Sports, as per an Economic Times report.

The batsman, a permanent fixture in Dhoni’s CSK, said he has made the move to have more attention paid to his commercial endorsements.

“I will not be the No. 2 player in this company,” he was quoted as saying. He may perhaps have been referring to Dhoni’s position at Rhiti.

It has been learnt that IOS will manage Raina’s endorsements and brand associations, corporate profile, patents and digital rights, and visibility on social networking sites.

“Neerav and I had several rounds of talks. I believe IOS has all the required credentials. They have a passionate and dedicated team who understand the space and comfort that a sportsperson needs.”

“I am happy to be represented by IOS and I am elated that I would be working with it,” said Raina,.

Raina is the first cricketer IOS has signed. It also manages sportspersons such as boxers Vijender Singh, MC Mary Kom and wrestler Sushil Kumar.

Neerav Tomar, MD and chief executive, IOS Sports, said Raina needs to be marketed better. “We want to position him as a reliable brand. He has been one of the top five Indian cricketers for some time now. We have already started working with some brands on Raina,”he said.

“We have our plans for managing Raina. Initially, we will be doing his brand imagery. Also, we will be looking at brands that suits his image and fit his profile,” Neerav added.

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