ORLANDO (US)/NEW DELHI: This is perhaps the mother of all sports endorsement deals by an Indian company, dwarfing the sign-ups of Indian cricketers, who have till now been the gold standard for such contracts. Hero MotoCorp, the country's biggest bike company, announced that it had inked a four-year endorsement deal with ace golferTiger Woods for a whopping Rs 250 crore. Hero Moto vice-chairman Pawan Munjal made the surprise announcement on Monday evening before Indian journalists gathered in Orlando, US. "Tiger is not just a golfing champion and an icon for millions around the world, he is a phenomenon. His appeal and charisma spans across continents cutting through barriers of geography, age, language and nationalities," Munjal said, adding that the company may also sign up other top sports stars including footballers in the coming time. Tiger Woods, who has played only seven events in 2014 due to a nagging back injury, will make his comeback starting Thursday at the Hero World Challenge. (AP Photo) Munjal has been taking Hero overseas after the split with long-time partner Honda in 2011, and the latest sign-up clearly signals at that. The company has already entered markets in Asia, south and central America, and Africa. It plans a foray into western European markets next year, and US and Brazil by 2016. Munjal's dramatic announcement was made at the Orlando home of India-Swede golfer Daniel Chopra. The Hero vice president suddenly called everyone into a huddle and dropped the news with a smile. "As I speak about this, I have goosebumps. We will have Tiger Woods as our corporate partner for the next four years starting from December 1, that is today. It is an endorsement deal with Tiger Woods in which he will not only be partnering but also promoting Hero as a brand across the globe," Munjal said. "It is not just for the US market, but the world. For me, Tiger personifies energy, perseverance, competitiveness, the will to excel and the will to be the best in whatever he does," he added. Asked if it was the golfer in him (Munjal is a golf enthusiast) that led him to sign up Woods for such an astronomical amount, Munjal told TOI, "These spends are not for today, but are investments made for the future. We aim to make Hero a global brand and want to be present in as many as 50 countries by 2020." So what do the ad gurus and sports management professionals think of the bulky endorsement? "I think this is massive, and one of the biggest single-brand sports endorsement deal that may have happened in the world," said Melroy D'souza, COO of Professional Management Group. Some of the top football stars in the world would at the best charge somewhere charge around $3 million (around Rs 18 crore) per year for brand endorsement, though sports kit deals can be bigger. Asked whether Hero may have overpaid for the deal, D'souza said, "It is massive and gives them a worldwide presence like no other Indian brand. Against a cricket which is more of an Asian phenomenon, Woods gives you a global reach." Adman Prahlad Kakkar said it speaks about the coming of age of an Indian company at the global level. "Personally I think it is expensive. I would think twice before paying that amount of money. But having said that, it is brings out the fact that an Indian company can be bold enough to sign on a Tiger Woods. That itself is a statement." Last year, cricketer Virat Kohli set the endorsements world abuzz when he inked a Rs 10-crore per annum deal with German sports goods giant Adidas. The three-year contract, perhaps the most lucrative to be signed by an Indian sports star, saw the swashbuckling right-hand batsman endorsing the brand's apparel and shoes. As reported by TOI, the Delhi lad also struck a Rs 6.5 crore a year deal with MRF for sponsoring his bat. The Indian vice-captain pocketed around Rs 40 crore from endorsements last year. The two deals made Kohli top the likes of Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Tendulkar in terms of annual earnings per endorsement. While Kohli charges about Rs 1.5 crore per day as endorsement fee, Dhoni's price point is at about a crore per day. The Indian captain's most lucrative endorsement was a Rs 5 crore per annum deal he struck with Reebok for his bat and footwear. Tendulkar used to charge about Rs 1.5 crore per day at the peak of his career. Tiger Woods first signed a five-year endorsement deal with Nike in 1996 for a reported $40 million (about the same at the value of the Hero deal, but for a year more); unlike now, he was then at his peak. Last year he signed a fresh contract with the sports goods maker. "We will be very shortly start to promote the Hero brand with Tiger across the world through all forms of media - print, digital electronic, social media, outdoor etc. I believe this is huge, not just for me or an Indian company, but in general," Munjal said. He did not clarify whether this tie-up would ensure the golfer's participation in the Indian Open in the coming years but did say that it was a possibility. "The deal does not mean he has to take part in every Indian Open, but it is open-ended. It is after all the 'Indian Open'," he smiled. Hero swings record Rs 250 crore deal with Tiger Woods - The Times of India wth!!!