2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Cricket Is Priority Not My Brand Value – Virat Kohli
There is absolutely no denying the fact that Team India skipper Virat Kohli has become the poster boy of Indian cricket with his meteoric rise as the best batsman not only in India but probably also in the world.
After the retirement of stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, India needed a batsman to become the next flag-bearer of the team and one can easily say that Kohli has done it with utmost aplomb.
His consistent performances at the highest level of the sport added to his attractive personality that has made him probably the most marketable sportsperson in the country.
But amid all this, the 28-year old dashing batsman from Delhi has said that cricket is his only priority before insisting that his market value is just a by-product of his performances in the game.
“My brand value should be somewhere in the region of USD 120 million. But these are a just number for me. It is not something that I strive for. It is just a by-product of something that I do in my professional career and the focus always remains that,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Next website.
Kohli has left behind the likes of MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar in the race for being the most in-demand athlete in the market but the India superstar does not know the exact reason behind it. The growth of money in the game was one of the reasons that Kohli managed to give.
“I can’t really pinpoint it to anything (on why he is the most marketable athlete even ahead of the likes of Tendulkar and Dhoni). Also, you need to understand where the commercial market is going. In general, the money has increased in the sport, the money has increased with brands, so there is always going to be a progress,” he stated.
“The guy coming in after a certain group of cricketers might make more money with brands. So you cannot really compare the value that someone has made in their prime with others. So I won’t compare but I can say that it has been a natural thing that people should find connect with you,” he added.
One of the most followed celebrities in the country, Kohli further said that he has made a conscious decision to promote only those brands which he consumes himself.
“Few brands that I have endorsed in the past, now I feel that I don’t connect well with that anymore. If I don’t consume those things then I won’t want to promote it for others to consume just because I am getting money out of it. If I am endorsing a brand I would want to do it in the right way,” he said.
“They want to see you as part of the product that they consume or brands want to use you as connect between them and the people. I haven’t made a conscious effort on that and I have just been myself and maybe people have started to connect with me in a certain way,” the batsman added.
Kohli, meanwhile, is currently in England where he will be leading Team India in an ICC tournament for the first time as the Men in Blue will be looking to defend their title.
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