Indian captain Virat Kohli’s appeal as a bankable brand has been on the upswing ever since he became the first citizen of Indian cricket, taking over captaincy in all formats from MS Dhoni at the beginning of the year.
It is established by the recent Forbes list of athletes with top brand value, where the Indian captain ranks at number 7, ahead of global superstars like FC Barcelona and Argentine Lionel Messi.
According to the list ‘an athlete’s brand value is their earnings (excluding salary and bonus from their sport and all investment income), minus the average income of the top 10 athletes in the same sport.
Kohli is currently ranked at number seven in the world in this particular list and he is also ahead of the likes of former Golf World No.1 Rory Mcilroy and two-time NBA champion Stephen Curry.
19-time Tennis Grand Slam champion Roger Federer leads the chart with an estimated brand value of $37.2 million, followed by NBA superstar LeBron James at number two and the ‘Fastest Man on Earth’ Usain Bolt at third.
Kohli is the only cricketer to be included in this illustrious list and it shows his great crowd-pulling prowess. Messi, on the other hand, has seen his value plummet by 10% while Kohli is making a maiden entry into the Top-10.
Here is the list of top 10 athletes and their current brand value –
1) Roger Federer – $37.2 million (One-year Change: +3.3%)
2) LeBron James – $33.4 million (-1.8%)
3) Usain Bolt – $27 million (+8%)
4) Cristiano Ronaldo – $21.5 million (+13.2%)
5) Phil Mickelson – $19.6 million (-30%)
6) Tiger Woods – $16.6 million (-27.8%)
7) Virat Kohli – $14.5 million (NA)
8) Rory McIlroy – $13.6 million (+4.6%)
9) Lionel Messi – $13.5 million (-10%)
10) Stephen Curry – $13.4 million (NA)
Kohli landed a multi-million deal with sports apparel brand Puma for eight years which will make the Indian skipper richer by Rs 110 crores.
Even if Puma had to pay any international star, it would not be less than $5 million a year. They are getting Virat for $2 million a year and that’s a very good deal,” he was quoted as saying when the blockbuster deal was revealed.
But with Kohli eclipsing the likes of Messi, Mcilroy and Curry, it is safe to say that the Indian skipper has arrived on the world stage, as far as raking in the moolah is concerned.