Virat Kohli has set the world of brand endorsements ablaze after inking a Rs.10 crore annual deal with German sports brand Adidas, according to reports.
Kohli, who recently led India to a 5-0 whitewash over Zimbabwe, is hot property in the endorsement market right now. He has also signed a deal worth 6.5 crore with MRF, who previously had Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar as their brand ambassadors. Kohli's aggression, good looks, consistency and never say die attitude make him a fan favourite.
Kohli, who will turn 25 in November, earned Rs. 40 crore through endorsements alone last year, but this figure will definitely swell up with these 2 deals in his kitty. Currently he features in 13 brands that include heavyweights like Pepsi, Toyota and Cinthol.
Kohli’s endorsement fee has seen a steep rise over the past year, rivalling Besharam actor Ranbir Kapoor, who happens to be the hottest brand ambassador in the film industry. Till last year the cricket star used to demand Rs 3 crore, which has now gone upto Rs.6 crore.
The Rs 10-crore-a-year deal with Adidas propels him into a different league.
“For the past few years, Dhoni has been ruling the endorsement space, but Kohli is catching up very fast. While Dhoni connected well with the masses, Kohli has a more urban appeal which a lot of brands want to cash in on,” said Indranil Das Blah, COO of celebrity management firm CAA Kwan.
Until recently, the former U-19 World Cup winning captain Kohli and Nike, a sports goods company based in the US, were in a five-year contract inked in 2008. However, things turned sour between the two sides when the sports goods major went to court claiming Kohli had breached the contract by disagreeing to continue as its brand ambassador till 2014. But the Karnataka high court ruled in favour of the cricketer, allowing him to sign endorsement deals with other sports brands.