CHENNAI: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli isn’t just the most valuable player going around in world cricket, he’s also India’s most valuable brand with a celebrity value of $143 million.
Kohli has dethroned Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who held the title of the country’s most valuable celebrity brand from 2014, according to a report by corporate advisers Duff & Phelps.
Kohli, along with Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, has led the ascent of millennials to the top of the rankings. Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni slipped from 9th place last year to 13th this year. This year saw PV Sindhu make an entry at 15, the first time a female sportsperson has made it to the top 15.
“For the first time since 2014, Shah Rukh Khan has slipped from the top ranking and has been replaced by Virat Kohli. Kohli is now the first choice of brands to engage and attract consumers, fuelled by his extraordinary on-field performances and off-field charisma,” said Varun Gupta, Duff & Phelps MD and regional leader, India, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Abhishek Ganguly, managing director of Puma India, which Kohli endorses, said, “Virat has transformed the way fitness is looked at in Indian cricket. He has emphasized the role of an athlete and reshaped cricket in the millennial culture. He is a youth icon with effortless style.” Kohli signed an eight-year deal with the brand early this year, making him the first Indian sportsperson to sign a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand.
The report also observes that companies are signing endorsement deals to draw in millennials. For instance, this year Coca-Cola chose to not renew its contract for Thums Up with Salman Khan for the first time since2012. It, instead, signed Ranveer Singh. Similarly, Honda roped in upcoming actress Tapsee Pannu as its brand ambassador for scooters for young riders. Juhi Chawla was replaced by Parineeti Chopra in the Kurkure ad, while Lays Chips’ previous ambassador Saif Ali Khan was replaced by Ranbir Kapoor.
Why can’t we have an industrialist or a scientist as a valuable celebrity. Comparatively, they do very valuable service to the nation, Varun Hegde.