Virat Kohli has edged past Barcelona football legend Lionel Messi in Forbes list of top 10 most valuable brand among athletes in the world. According to Forbes, Kohli’s brand value is $14.5 million, which is a $1 million more than Lionel Messi’s. Kohli is ranked 7th in the world while Messi is on No.9. The 28-year-old is the only cricketer in Top 10.
Roger Federer is sitting pretty at the top with a brand value of $37.2m followed by legend American basketball player LeBron James ($33.4m). Income Usain Bolt ($27m) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($21.5m) at 3 and 4. Next on the list are two golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. The seventh spot is occupied by Kohli to be followed by Rory McIlroy (Golfer), Lionel Messi and Stephen Curry.
The brand value of an athlete is calculated by subtracting the average income from endorsements of top 10 athletes from the same sport. The brand value of Virat Kohli is $14.5m. In short, Virat Kohli earns $14.5m more than the average income of top 10 cricketers from endorsements.
Kohli, however is not the first Indian cricketer to make it to the top 10 list. In 2014 MS Dhoni was ranked 5th by Forbes for brand value among athletes at $20m. Dhoni’s retirement from test cricket was a factor in reducing his brand value. His brand value came down from $21m in 2015 to $11m in 2016.
Virat charges 5 Crores per day as Endorsement fee which makes him highest paid cricketer via endorsements. His current endorsements include Audi cars, MRF Tyres, Tissot watches, Gionee phones, Boost milk drink, Colgate toothpaste and Vicks lozenges and others.
Earlier Virat severed his ties with PepsiCo saying there is no need to endorse products that he doesn’t consume. “If I myself won’t consume such things, I won’t urge others to consume it, just because I am getting money out of it,” said Kohli in an interview with CNN-IBN.
“When I started my fitness turnaround, it was more of a lifestyle thing initially. If something goes away from that, I would not want to be a part of that or be promoting that,” he added.
Top 10 most valuable athletes:
1. Roger Federer $37.2m
2. LeBron James $33.4m
3. Usain Bolt $27m
4. Cristiano Ronaldo $21.5m
5. Phil Mickelson $19.6m
6. Tiger Woods $16.6m
8. Rory McIlroy $13.6m
9. Lionel Messi $13.5m
10. Stephen Curry $13.4m