Virat Kohli has become the first Indian sportsperson to sign a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand. The Indian cricket captain has struck an eight-year deal with sports lifestyle brand Puma worth about Rs 110 crore. Kohli is now set to join the likes of Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, and footballers Thierry Henry and Oliver Giroud – among others – as a global ambassador for the brand.
The unusually long eight-year deal – which could go on to cover the 28-year old’s remaining career with the Indian team – involves a fixed payment and royalty depending on the brand’s business performance.
Kohli will work with the German company to launch a signature line of sports lifestyle products with a special logo and brand identity. Bulk of the endorsement deal, estimated between Rs 12 to 14 crore annually, is locked up in fixed payout.
“It’s a privilege to be part of a great list of athletes that Puma has. Not just today’s icons like Usain Bolt but also the brand’s rich history with Pele, Maradona, Thierry Henry and others,” Kohli told TOI.
“Both Puma and I are committed to a long-term partnership. I am impressed by the way Puma has gained popularity and market leadership in India in a short period of time,” he added.
Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in the Rs 100-crore club through multi-year contract with sports and talent management agencies, which in turn brought a plethora of brands for endorsement deals.
In his 24-year-long international career, market estimates suggest Tendulkar endorsed over 50 brands for an accumulated fee in excess of Rs 500 crore. Prominent among those deals were the Rs 30-crore plus with WorldTel in 1995 which was renewed in 2001at more than double the value.
In 2006, Tendulkar inked a contract with advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi’s Iconix reportedly valued at around Rs 175 crore for three years. MS Dhoni, the next big superstar after Tendulkar, went to earn roughly $28m (approx Rs 180 crore) from endorsements, being second only to movie star Shahrukh Khan when at his peak and endorsing close to 20 brands.
In 2013, Kohli had signed a Rs 10-crore per-annum, three-year deal with sports goods giant Adidas, but this ended when both parties decided not to renew the contract last December. The signing up with Puma, however, puts the dynamic cricketer in a new league altogether.
“Virat has transformed the way fitness is looked at in Indian cricket. He has emphasized the role of an athlete and reshaping cricket in the millennial culture, thus endorsing our brand ethos. He is a youth icon with an effortless style,” Puma India MD Abhishek Ganguly said.
The first Puma commercial featuring Kohli is expected to break on air Monday. Both Puma and Kohli wouldn’t comment on specific financial details of the endorsement deal.
Puma is expected to work with Kohli in markets like UK, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East and “wherever Cricket is relevant.”
Times Of India Reported.