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SBD Global/September 30, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli Inks Three-Year Contract With Adidas Worth $4.8M

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli "is setting the world of brand endorsements alight," according to Samidha Sharma of the TIMES OF INDIA. The Indian captain-in-the-making, "whose exploits on the field, combined with his youth, good looks and never-say-die attitude, makes him a winner off the field too," has inked a Rs 10 crore ($1.6M) per annum deal with adidas. The three-year contract, "perhaps the most lucrative to be signed by an Indian sports star," will see Kohli endorsing the brand's apparel and shoes. Kohli has also struck a Rs 6.5 crore ($1M)-a-year deal with a tire brand that had "master batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh as its ambassadors." The two deals "will see Kohli topping the likes of Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Tendulkar in terms of annual earnings per brand endorsement." Kohli, who turns 25 later this year, pocketed around Rs 40 crore ($6.4M) from endorsements last year, "but that sum may swell up substantially with these two deals in his kit bag." Currently, "he lends his face to as many as 13 brands, including Pepsi, Toyota and Cinthol deodorants." Kohli's annual endorsement fee "has seen a meteoric rise over the past year," rivaling the likes of Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, "the hottest brand ambassador in the film industry." Till last year, "the cricket star used to command" Rs 3 crore ($480,000) per brand annually, which went up to Rs 6 crore ($960,000). The Rs 10 crore a year deal with adidas "propels him to a different league altogether" (TIMES OF INDIA, 9/27).
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