The captain of the Indian Team Virat Kohli, is always in news whether for his love life or cricket. Just recently, he has signed an eight-year endorsement deal with Puma, a German multinational company, for Rs. 110 crore and now his bat sponsorship deal with MRF has been renewed for Rs. 100 crore for eight years.
Kohli’s deal is being managed by the agency Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment and its CEO Bunty Sajdeh has asserted that this is a “significant jump” from the previous deal which was signed for Rs. 8 crore for three years but he denied giving any details of the deal. In his words,
“We have renewed the bat sponsorshop deal with MRF for eight years. MRF was keen on securing Kohli for a long run. Today, brands are seeing value in securing long-term deals. We also want to show loyalty and commitment to them. And Kohli has got a great rapport with MRF and the money is phenomenal.”
MRF has been associated with many legends of the game, such as Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh and Brian Lara. At present, other than Kohli, MRF also sponsors Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan and South African crickter AB de Villiers.
Kohli appears to be the favorite celebrity among the brands and the 28-year old player is endorsing 13 brands at the moment. Talking about his brand value, it’s so high and can be estimated by the fact that he entered the 100 crore club in the mid of 2016. The director of sports marketing firm Baseline Ventures, Ramakrishnan R, said,
“Kohli commands a premium as he is the top order batsman and is the current set up he is one of the three players who play all formats of cricket. However, it has to be a deal with some riders as the deal is on a higher side. It may be, if he has committed for three days per year for eight years, which will be around Rs. 4 crore per day. Equipment and apparel deals are cash cows for athletes as these are part of them. So these command top price, a case in point being Novak Djokovic’s huge deal with Lacoste.”
After this deal with MRF, Virat Kohli has become the only Indian athlete to have two deals of Rs. 100 crores or more. However, Sajdeh is planning to decrease the number of brands that Kohli endorses. The first cricketer to attract advertising market big time was Sachin Tendulkar and later on, MS Dhoni also earned huge from it but Kohli has taken it to a new level.
The business head of GroupM’s entertainment and sports division ESP Properties India, Vinit Karnik, said,
“Brand Kohli is at an alltime high. Kohli is in a unique position as he is a clear number one in terms of sporting icons currently, hence, his brand endorsement kitty is expected to increase and break all previous benchmarks. What sets Kohli apart as a cricketer is that he has a mix of Saurav Ganguly’s aggression and Sachin Tendulkar’s class. In a way, he has qualities of Young India, so all the brands that would want to target young Indians, would definitely want to get him on board.”