image courtesy : Franchise India

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.

“It’s a privilege to be part of a great list of athletes that Puma has,” said Kohli . “Not just today’s icons like Usain Bolt, but also the brand’s rich history with Pele, Maradona, Thierry Henry and others. 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.

Kohli currently endorses more than 20 brands, the latest of which are Gionee smartphones and American Tourister. He was also appointed goodwill ambassador for the NDA government’s Skill India mission in January.

Virat Kohli’s personal brand value is worth $92 million, second highest in India, next only to Shah Rukh Khan’s brand value worth $131 million. His value has seen a steep rise over the past few months, thanks to his form with the bat & his promotion to the captaincy of India’s limited-overs side.

“The track record of a sports player has a direct bearing on his attractiveness as a brand endorser. Given the consistent and unbeatable record of Virat Kohli, companies that want to position themselves as a market winner will definitely look to sign him on as a brand ambassador,” said Aviral Jain, director at Duff & Phelps,a global valuation and corporate finance advisory firm.

What’s more, he’s brash, enthusiastic, and aggressive. Kiran Khalap, co-founder, chlorophyll, a brand and communications consultancy, said. “What’s unique about Virat is he is interesting both as a cricketer and as a human being.And since Kohli is now the captain, that is the route for his brand evolution.”

“We have seen Kohli transform from a young brat to a responsible and inspiring leader who leads by example. But little is known about his businesses and investments, which are growing off the field with his growing responsibilities on field. And little to our surprise, he’s excelling equally in them,” he said.

List of few companies Virat is associated,as a co-owner are:

Wrogn : Youth fashion brand, Chisel :chain of gyms and fitness centres, FC Goa :Indian Super League franchise FC Goa, UAE Royalsthe Indian Premier Tennis League (which is led by Swiss great Roger Federer), Bengaluru Yodhas : Pro Wrestling League’s franchise.

“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.”