Nothing Official About It: Kohli Says No to Pepsi
Won’t renew contract with PepsiCo as Team India captain bats for a healthy lifestyle
New Delhi: PepsiCo and Indian cricket’s swashbuckling captain Virat Kohli have parted ways, ending a six-year endorsement association amid concerns expressed by the star about promoting products that go against his ideals of fitness just for money.
With this, the beverages and snacks maker, which has banked on household names globally as well as in India to back its mainstay brands, has lost the country’s highest-paid celebrity and its most marketable face.
“Yes, the old agreement has ended and both parties have amicably decided not to renew (it) as of now,” a PepsiCo spokesperson confirmed in an email. “We are in constant touch to explore new associations.” An email query sent to Cornerstone, the talent management firm that represents Kohli, elicited no response. Kohli’s endorsement deal with PepsiCo ended on April 30. A fitness enthusiast, he had expressed reservations in an interview about being associated with a sugary drink. The Indian captain commands an endorsement fee of .₹ 4.5 crore to .₹ 5 crore a day compared with .₹ 2.5 crore to .₹ 4 crore a day last year. The cricket star was ranked 89th in the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2017, with earnings of $22 million.
“So the need was felt to issue fresh guidelines and clamp down on the rampant use of the lawns,” the official said.
The last event that will be allowed is the World Food Festival, organised by the ministry of food processing in October. Permission for this event was obtained before the new guidelines were issued this month.
The new rules also don’t allow the booking of space behind Vigyan Bhawan on nearby Maulana Azad Road, which was being used for catering and parking facilities during events at the India Gate lawns. The booking charges for the two lawns remain unchanged at ₹ 1 lakh per day for commercial events such as movie shoots and ₹ 10,000 per day for non-commercial functions.