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SBD Global/June 14, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Cricketer Virat Kohli Signs Historic Rs 100 Crore Renewal With Tire Brand MRF

Cricketer Virat Kohli "has hit another century off the field," this time with tire maker MRF, according to Gaurav Laghate of the ECONOMIC TIMES. The captain of the Indian cricket team renewed his bat sponsorship deal with MRF for eight years for more than Rs 100 crore ($15M), sources said on condition of anonymity. This "comes close on the heels" of Kohli signing a Rs 110 crore ($16.5M) endorsement deal with Puma for a "similar period." Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment CEO Bunty Sajdeh, whose agency manages Kohli's endorsements, said that the deal with MRF was renewed at a "significant jump" from the previous Rs 8 crore ($1.2M), three-year deal, "but declined to divulge details." Sajdeh: "MRF was keen on securing Kohli for a long term. Today, brands are seeing value in securing long-term deals." Kohli "has been an advertisers' delight for some time" and he joined the Rs 100 crore club by mid-'16, endorsing 13 brands. The deal with MRF makes India’s cricket captain "the only athlete in the country" to have two deals worth more than Rs 100 crore. Sajdeh said that Cornerstone "is not looking for any more plain vanilla sponsorship" for Kohli and "will look at cutting down on the number of brands he is endorsing" (ECONOMIC TIMES, 6/13).
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