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Brand Kohli beats Messi on Forbes top 10

Virat Kohli's brand persona is at an all-time high. The Indian cricket captain's phenomenal performance in the last two years could be one of the factors behind this rise. His clout on social media is enviable. Virat Kohli has created a ripple in the Indian advertising scenario as well with his association to some of the top brands across all genres. It has got nothing to do with the celebrity football match he recently played or the football team he owns, but Virat Kohli is now a more valuable brand than Argentina and FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the only footballer ahead of Kohli, who is No. 7 on the Forbes list of most valuable brands among sportspersons.

Forbes list of 10 most valuable athletes in 2017

  • Roger Federer, Swiss tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 2, has a brand value of $37.2m.
  • LeBron James who is an American basketball player has a brand value of $33.4m.
  • Retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt stood third on the list with $27m
  • Portugal footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has a brand value of $21.5m
  • Phil Mickelson, American professional golfer, stood at fifth position with brand value worth $19.6m.
  • Another American professional golfer, Tiger Woods is at number 6 with $16.6m brand value
  • International cricketer Virat Kohli has brand value of $14.5m
  • Professional golfer from Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy grabbed 8th position with $13.6m
  • ionel Messi, a Professional Argentina footballer has a brand value of $13.5m
  • American professional basketball player Steph Curry grabbed 10th position with brand value worth$13.4m.

Forbes calculates the brand value of an athlete by subtracting the average income of the top 10 athletes in the same sport from the total earnings of that athlete, excluding salary and bonus from their sport and all investment income. Forbes calculates Kohli's brand value at US $14.5 million, a million dollars more than the No. 9 Messi, and $22.7m short of the biggest brand among athletes in sport, Roger Federer. In other words, Kohli's endorsements earn him $14.5m more than the average endorsement income of the top 10 cricketers. Despite a major dip in their brand value over the last year, golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods were in the top six.

Kohli, however, is neither the first Indian nor the first cricketer in the top 10 of the Forbes list. MS Dhoni, Kohli's predecessor as India captain, was the fifth-most valuable sports brand among athletes in 2014, with his brand value calculated at $20m, a million lower than it had been in 2013. Even after he gave up Test cricket and captaincy, Dhoni was the tenth-biggest brand in 2016. His brand value, though, did take a big hit that year, coming down from $21m in 2015 to $11m in 2016. Now India's captain in all formats, Kohli has made the big move up, which might be an indicator of how valuable the India captaincy is. Australian players receive higher wages from Cricket Australia, but the Indians are raking it the riches through endorsement deals.

There are however, no women athletes in the top 10, not even Serena Williams, who is widely considered to be one of the best athletes in the world.

In 2016, Forbes India has ranked him as the country's most popular celebrity this year. Kohli outranked his ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan to be the most famous. With estimated earnings of Rs. 134.44 crores October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016 he's also India's richest sportsperson this year. Dhoni with 122.48 crores and Sachin Tendulkar with 58 crores follow Kohli in the list of the richest. Dhoni's also the fourth famous celebrity while Sachin's sixth. Among non-cricketers, Sania Mirza was the 28th most famous celebrity followed by badminton ace Saina Nehwal at the 31st spot.

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