The makers of Panini sticker albums revealed on Tuesday that they reached the €1B ($1.15B) mark in '18 thanks to "the explosion in sales" generated by the World Cup, according to the AFP. Panini's Italian market director, Antonio Allegra, said, "The Panini Group will achieve a turnover of about €1 billion for 2018 thanks to the World Cup, almost double the €536 million ($616M) achieved in 2017." Panini’s financial figures "fluctuate depending on the competitions played and normally take off during the World Cup." The 2018 Russia edition of the album included a record number of 682 stickers (AFP, 1/8).
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli "topped the list" of the most valuable celebrity brands in the country for the second year in a row, with an 18% increase in his brand value to $170.8M in '18, according to the PTI. The cricketer endorsed 24 brands as of November, global valuation and corporate finance advisers Duff & Phelps said in its fourth edition of the report on India's most valuable celebrity brands. He is followed by Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, "who jumped a place higher from the last ranking," with a valuation of $102.5M. She endorsed 21 brands as of November. Kohli and Padukone are the only celebrities with a valuation of over $100M. The total value of the top 20 celebrity brands stands at $877M, with the top 10 contributing more than 75% of the total value (PTI, 1/10).
PACKED HOUSE: In Sydney, Christian Nicolussi reported the Kohli "love-in looks set to deliver the biggest one-day crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground in at least a decade." A crowd of 35,000 is expected at the venue on Saturday, "but that number is expected to soar closer to 40,000 with the forecast sunshine." The biggest attendance was against England in '14, when 37,823 supporters watched David Warner and Shaun Marsh "deliver a comfortable win." India has "always proven popular in Sydney," with crowds of 33,369 recorded in '12, 22,692 in '15 and 33,710 in '16 (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 1/10).