What's the story?
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has signed 110 crore endorsement deal with Puma for an eight-year period. The duration deal means that Kohli could well be the ambassador of Puma till the end of his Indian career. He became the first Indian sportsman to sign an endorsement deal with a company for over 100 crores.
He is expected to work with the sports lifestyle brand in launching a signature line of lifestyle products which will most probably be for sale with a special logo and brand identity. He joins the likes of footballers Oliver Giroud and Thierry Henry, and athletes Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell as the global ambassador for Puma.
"Both Puma and I are committed to a long-term partnership. I am impressed by the way Puma has gained popularity and market leadership in India in a short period of time," Kohli said while speaking to The Times of India.
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Kohli had previously been in associated with sports goods giants, Adidas, in a three-year deal worth 10 crore. But this had ended when the contract was not renewed after a mutual decision in December, 2016.
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MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar were previous cricketers to be in the 100 crore club but those had come from multi-brand endorsements. Kohli's 110 crore deal has put him head and shoulders above the rest.
The heart of the matter
Virat Kohli is world cricket's biggest thing at the moment and it was expected that big names would pursue him to sign as their brand ambassador.
However, an eight-year long deal is unusual for cricketers. Kohli is now 28 and would be 36 when the deal ends, by which time he would be closing in on his international retirement, if not already retired.
Puma has a rich history in terms of acquiring the services of athletes for endorsement with the likes of Pele and Maradona previously promoting the brand.
Speaking of the signing, Puma India MD Abhishek Ganguly said, "Virat has transformed the way fitness is looked at it in Indian cricket. He has emphasised the role of an athlete and reshaping cricket in the millennial culture, thus endorsing our brand ethos. He is a youth icon with an effortless style."
The first Puma commercial with Kohli is expected to come out on Monday. Puma will work with Kohli in markets in the Middle East, UK, Australia and South Africa.
Virat Kohli is the most marketed cricketer in world cricket today and it is no surprise that he has struck gold in this eight-year deal with Puma. Recently promoted as Indian skipper in all formats of the game, Kohli is a youth and style icon looked upon by youngsters. In joining hands with Puma in a 100 crore deal, he has just elevated his brand value to a new high.