DE­COD­ING KOHLI

As Kohli pips star foot­baller Lionel Messi in the Forbes’ list, we find out what makes him such a big brand

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - Hindustan Times (Jaipur) - City - - Front Page - Prashant Singh

It goes with­out say­ing that he is one of the big­gest sports stars In­dia has ever seen. And now, Team In­dia skip­per Vi­rat Kohli, with a value of $14.5 mil­lion (94 crore), has bro­ken into the global league as he pips Ar­gentina and Barcelona star foot­baller, Lionel Messi, in the Forbes’ lat­est list of the most valu­able brands among sportsper­sons. Kohli is at the sev­enth place, Ir­ish golfer Rory Mcil­roy at the eighth spot, even as Messi and bas­ket­ball star Steph Curry com­plete the top 10 list. But what re­ally makes Kohli such a big brand at such a young age? Ad guru Alyque Pad­masee feels the 28-year-old crick­eter “has ev­ery­thing go­ing for him to be the brand world’s favourite.” He says, “Vi­rat is a young, fit, good­look­ing man, ag­gres­sive, fear­less, ex­tremely pop­u­lar among women, and, most im­por­tantly, is ex­cel­lent at his game. Plus, he is a very suc­cess­ful cap­tain.” In­ter­est­ingly, Kohli didn’t fea­ture in the list last year, but in 2017, he has re­placed Dhoni, who was at the 10th spot last year with a value of $11 mil­lion (71 crore). This “could just be the start­ing point” of brand Vi­rat’s jour­ney, feel ex­perts, adding that Vi­rat has “just started to peak now”, while the likes of ten­nis star Roger Fed­erer (No.1 in the list), foot­ball player Cris­tiano Ron­aldo (No.4 in the list) and Messi have been “in the thick of things” for years now. Brand man­agers pre­dict that Vi­rat’s brand value could grow 50-100%over the next cou­ple of years. “It shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing at all. Vi­rat is pos­si­bly the big­gest crick­et­ing star right now. In­dia is a huge na­tion where cricket is a big sport. In fact, it’s as pop­u­lar and enor­mous as foot­ball in Europe,” says film­maker and ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pert R Balki.

VI­RAT HAS BRO­KEN INTO THE GLOBAL LEAGUE AS HE PIPS AR­GENTINA AND BARCELONA STAR FOOT­BALLER, LIONEL MESSI, IN THE FORBES’ LAT­EST LIST OF THE MOST VALU­ABLE BRANDS AMONG SPORTSPER­SONS

Ac­tori Deepika Singh starred in the show, Diya Aur Baati Hum Deepika with her son So­hum

PHOTO: RAJ K RAJ/HT

PHOTO: AP

Lionel Messi

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