Virat Kohli now part of the prestigious 100-crore endorsement club
Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were the other two cricketers on the list prior to Kohli's inclusion
At the young age of 27, Virat Kohli who with his exploits on the field combined with his aggressive, never-say-die attitude and good looks has managed to grab many hearts. Apart from this, the Indian test team skipper has stepped foot into the club of cricketers who have made 100- crore brand endorsement deals, a list that includes India limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the legendary master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
Although the 100-cr endorsement deal listings have been crossed by many Indian celebrities and is led by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, only two cricketers MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have crossed it, with Virat being the new entrant into the list
The face of many brands
Kohli, who has been picked to emulate some of the great names in cricket such as the master blaster himself, has tasted tremendous success in all formats of the game, and aside all of this, is a person who seems to have the perfect personality as quoted by some of the brand owners who have utilised the services of the swashbuckling batsman for their various brands like Pepsi, MRF, Cinthol etc.
According to Bunty Sajdeh, CEO of Cornerstone Sports and Entertainment who is also the personal manager of Virat Kohli, the right-hander is someone “who will not hide behind and stab people from the back”. When asked about Kohli’s traits, Bunty says, “He does not mince his words ever. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is never afraid to call a spade a spade.” He also adds that Virat is very specific about which deal he wants to sign and knows exactly what is right for him, but is never driven on the basis of money.
In the Year 2013, Virat possessed 13 brand endorsements in his kitty, which included Reebok, Nestle India etc and he also signed perhaps Indian cricket’s most lucrative deal with Adidas, a whopping 30 crore deal for three years.
At that time Kohli was a newbie in the field, commanding just over 3 crores for each deal. His largest signing was with the tyre giants, MRF with whom he signed a 6.5 crore deal, a brand which had already made a name by sponsoring two greats Sachin and Australian Steve Waugh earlier.
Moving up the ladder
In the year 2014, things were only going to get better for the Delhi lad. Virat’s consistent performances did him plenty good, with his estimated endorsements rising two-fold, from 3 crore rupees to 6 crore rupees per deal.
The two deals with Adidas and MRF sky-rocketed Kohli’s earnings through endorsement, which was announced through a detailed report processed by GroupM, a media acquiring agency and SportzPower, a sports business news website. The two giant deals made him go ahead of MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar in the highest paid cricketers through endorsement deals listings.
Kohli ended the year 2014 with great success, endorsing several brands to make himself a 17-cr per year brand, higher than Dhoni and Sachin.
The skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League carried on his rich vein of form both on and off the cricket field by signing several deals with major sport related companies. A huge lover of cars, Virat was previously the brand ambassador of Japanese automaker Toyota Kirloskar Pvt.Ltd.
Joining the 100- crore club
Recently, Kohli signed a significant deal of 5 crore rupees for a duration of 18 months with car giant Audi, which entered his name into the 100-cr deal club. The Audi company reportedly manufactured only 99 units of their limited edition Audi R8-LMX priced at 2.97cr, with only two units coming out in India. After Kohli signed the deal, Audi ‘gifted’ one of the Audi R8-LMX to the Indian test skipper, in appreciation of tying up with the giant, adding the R8 to Kohli’s collection of superbikes and supercars in his garage, which also includes a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Range Rover Vogue and other luxury cars.
With all these deals being made and the recent news of the RCB skipper being the highest paid player ever in IPL, Kohli’s brand easily sums up to more than 100cr and counting. The poster boy of the Indian cricket team has already built an empire for himself, emulating the likes of Dhoni and Tendulkar. If, at 27, Kohli has so many brands to his name, it will not be long until many multi-millionaire companies run to him in the process asking him to lend his face to enhance the performance of the respective brands in the market.