Back in November, I wrote about the Pittsburgh Pirates global recruiting effort, especially the pickup of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, contestants in India’s “Million Dollar Arm” reality TV contest. While their future within the Pirates’ organization is still unknown, Darren Rovell reported on Monday with updates to their story. When I mentioned last time that the two were being represented by Jeff Borris, Barry Bonds’ agent, I was unaware that they had employed Bonds’ marketing agent Jeff Bernstein as well. Bernstein was also the creator of the “Million Dollar Arm” show.
Singh and Patel have yet to even be assigned to a team in the Pirates system, but Bernstein is busy creating marketing opportunities for the duo. Film producer Mark Ciardi is shopping the film rights to their story to Disney and Miramax, among other financiers and studios. Bernstein noted that he will seek out product placement deals once the film rights have been sold. He has also had success in finding the two pitchers a substantial amount of sponsorships, considering the hard economic times. These deals include UnderArmour, Wilson, Upper Deck and Playoff (trading cards). Bernstein has also used their ethnicity to their advantage, garnering a sponsorship deal with Ethnic Kitchen, a frozen Indian food producer.