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Virat Kohli’s brand value to increase after overtaking Lionel Messi in Forbes Fab 40: Experts

27-October-2017
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Virat Kohli’s brand value to increase after overtaking Lionel Messi in Forbes Fab 40: Experts

With Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli’s brand value overtaking football star Lionel Messi, golfer Rory McIlory and Golden State Warriors' shooter Stephen Curry, the day is not far away when he will be number one in sports category according to brand experts. Forbes has valued the Indian skipper's brand value at USD 14.5 million and that puts him in the seventh position in the list of top 10 athletes for their brand value in its Forbes Fab 40 list.

Both brand experts N Chandramouli, CEO, Trust Research Advisory and Jagdeep Kapoor, Chairman and Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultant, point out that with Kohli’s brand value has immense potential to grow with age on his side.

Chandramouli explains, “A sporting person’s lifespan for endorsement is always very limited and there are few like Lionel Messi who can continue to reign that strong over the years. Kohli is in the first leg of his career whereas Messi is (maybe) in the last. There is a lot of headroom for Kohli to be able to enhance his brand value as long as his performance is consistent.”

In fact in Kapoor’s belief, he is still undervalued. He predicts that Kohli will soon be number one in perceived value and brand value in the next two years in sports category as he has 10 more years on his side. He elucidates, “There is a good chance of his brand value growing 50-100 per cent over the next one year because it’s very rare to find a sportsperson so young, fit, aggressive, and wants to win every time. He is also fearless and achieved many records at an age which is 10 years younger than others who have achieved the same records. Finally, he represents not only cricket but also winning attitude and a strong brand ambassador of his country. Hence his perceived value will grow even more.”

Kohli joined the Rs 100 crore club by mid-2016, endorsing 13 brands including MRF, Audi, Vicks, Boost, USL, TVS, Smaash, Nitesh Estates, Tissot, Herbalife, and Colgate. Today the number has gone up to 18. The Indian cricket captain made headlines in the advertising world earlier this year when he signed an eight-year, Rs 110-crore deal with a single brand, Puma, in one of the biggest such endorsements in the South Asian nation. This was followed by his renewal of his bat sponsorship deal with MRF for eight years for more than Rs 100 crore.

In 2016, Kohli endorsed around 20 brands of 13 different companies, and these brands advertised for 1,190 hours across multiple TV channels according to media reports.

Last October, a report on India’s most valuable celebrity brands published by Duff & Phelps, a New York-based corporate finance advisory firm, put Kohli’s brand value at $92 million, second only to Shah Rukh Khan’s $131 million. By June it jumped to somewhere around $120 million according to media reports.

Nomit Joshi, Director-Marketing, Gionee India attributes this spike in his brand worth to Kohli’s personality and his go-getter attitude. The Chinese smartphone maker had signed him on in January. Joshi explains how the partnership reflected in sales, “His association has enabled us to amplify the campaign to the next level, setting a trend amidst our target audience. This perfect mix of our ideology and Virat’s confidence and style has set up the right concoction to spark up our biggest campaign of the year, #Selfiestan. The campaign rollout was accompanied with the launch of the flagship device A1 which has clocked in record sales owing to its selfie and battery capabilities backed by a power-packed campaign with the ace cricketer.”

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