Industry POV

Brand Virat Kohli poised to strike big

06 Jan 2017

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 6:  

Brand Virat Kohli is expected to get a further boost, with the cricket icon set to lead the Indian squad in all the three cricketing formats — tests, one-dayers, and T-20.

Brand experts say depending on the market conditions, his brand valuation could go up 20-25 per cent.

Since 2014, brand Kohli has been on rise and he is already a youth icon, with endorsements of brands like Pepsi, Audi, Tissot, MRF, Punjab National Bank, American Tourister, Nitesh Estates, Valvoline Cummins and Manyavar among others.

Sources said his brand endorsement kitty is expected to increase further, as 2-3 additional brands are already in advance stage of conversations to sign him up.

Neerav Tomar, MD and CEO, IOS Sports & Entertainment, said Kohli is now in the same space where MS Dhoni was about 7-8 years ago. “Kohli is in a unique position as there is no clear number two in terms of sporting icons currently. So his brand valuations are expected to grow further,” he added.

Kohli has also emerged as a savvy investor. He has stakes in teams that compete in Indian Super League (FC Goa) and International Premier Tennis League (UAE Royals). He also has his own private label, WROGN, positioned as a youth fashion brand, besides co-owning a chain of fitness centres and gyms under brand Chisel.

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia, said this will further help consolidate and strengthen his brand valuation.

However, some celebrity managers feel that Kohli has already hit a peak and it remains to be seen how much more premium he can command from the market.

A senior executive with a sports management firm added, “Kohli is already the leading sports celebrity in the country and positioned at the highest level. It definitely solidifies his position further. So it remains to be seen whether it will have a very big impact on the amount of money he commands for his future brand endorsement deals.”

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