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Brand Virat Kohli to grow by 50% after relinquishing T20 captaincy: Experts

Industry opines that the brands need Kohli for his popularity and not for the captaincy tag

by Mansi Sharma
Published - Sep 17, 2021 8:50 AM Updated- Sep 17, 2021 9:27 AM

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After days of rumours and speculations around Virat Kohli’s decision to let go of his captaincy for white-ball formats, the skipper, on Thursday evening, took to social media to announce that he will no longer remain the captain of the T20 team after the World Cup. He will however continue to lead the squad for one day and test formats.

The marketing world believes that the move could have a positive impact on his overall brand value, contrary to the trend wherein captains of the men’s cricket team tend to have the biggest share of the pie when it comes to endorsements. 

Samsika Marketing Consultant MD Jagdeep Kapoor notes, “I think his decision to step down from the captaincy of T20 squad will have a positive impact on his brand value, much upto 50%. I say this because earlier brand Virat Kohli was only about aggression. But the statement that he has released now makes him look like a more mature team player.” 

He adds that Kohli’s individual performance as a player makes him more special than any other captain that the Indian men’s cricket team has ever had, “He has had a fantastic track record as a player, since his U-19 days. He has made so many records and will hopefully continue to do so. Also, he still remains the captain of the one day and test formats. So, this decision is only positively going to impact his brand value.” 

Tyche Media Co-founder Pawan Bagga agrees, “Of course, being a captain adds to one’s profile, but Virat Kohli has first established himself as a great player clearly in sync with the legends of the game. Most of his records are right up there for his batting among the greats and that gives him a legacy that he is building upon beyond the basis of being a captain or not. We have had several captains in the past but none had a record like Virat and consistency like Virat keeping aside his recent form. Brand Virat will stay relevant as no other player in the current squad has been able to achieve his social media or fan following in general. Improving his game and not diminishing in relevance further with bad form and finally retiring would be one big test for Virat going forward to keep his relevance alive.” 

More than being the captain of one of the world’s most successful cricket teams and being a legendary player, there are more facets to Kohli’s personality which will keep him relevant amongst the brands, even if he leaves the captainship of other formats as well. 

Vavo Digital CEO & Founder Neha Puri points out, “Virat Kohli has been the greatest batsman in modern-day cricket. He with his impeccable batting skills and captaincy has proved his worth. But his popularity over the brands also shows his thoughtful investments in startups that rose to be successful under his banner. He constantly promotes fitness, healthy eating, and his fashion sense, which keeps him relevant even today.  The brand Virat Kohli has over his career invested in many well-known brands. His impeccable fashion sense made him own a stake in the famous clothing line, WROGN. Kohli also launched Chisel, a Bengaluru-based chain of gyms. Whether it's FC Goa, Nueva, or Stepathlon his brand presence continues to increase because of his choices. His passion for Fitness, Food, and Fashion and his social media presence would keep him relevant all the time.” 

She adds, “Brands don't require the tag of captaincy, they require him. His outstanding popularity over the globe has been through his skills and also his huge social media presence. He won't lose out on anything because the brands know his worth too well to let him go.” 

Also, his marriage with one of the most successful Bollywood actresses and producers of today’s time, Anushka Sharma, will keep him relevant amongst the brands that are on a lookout for a power couple for their campaigns as Bagga highlights, “That (having a successful actress and producer wife) might work for him for campaigns where a brand needs a power couple but as an individual, brands have expectations from Virat himself.” 

However, Puri feels that being a husband of an A-lister doesn’t matter much for Kohli’s brand value as she says, “Being the cricketer, entrepreneur, and social endorser, Kohli is the face of numerous brands, including Audi, Vicks, Hero, and Manyavar with his wife Anushka Sharma. His presence will not be affected by anything. Being a husband of an A-list Bollywood actress doesn't really matter at his stature.” 

All in all, the industry feels that brand Virat Kohli will continue to remain relevant and popular, his brand value continuously picking up, till someone manages to replicate his performance and takes the centre stage. 

Bagga concludes, “Overall brand Virat will stay strong and relevant until someone else takes the centre stage from the squad and becomes as important in performance and leadership as Virat Kohli. But the future of brand Virat totally is equivalent to the form of his game going ahead and till what age he can pull along the same keeping his fitness and performance intact.”

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