“There were rumours that Dhoni quit the Indian Premier League (IPL). But he turned it around by taking Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a win and transitioning to the role of a mentor for the national team,” Aviral Jain, MD, Duff & Phelps (A Kroll Business), told TOI. “Dhoni has become a timeless brand, similar to Sachin Tendulkar. ” While the wicket keeper batter saw an increase in the number of brand endorsements and fees in 2021, his former teammate Kohli suffered on two fronts: Lacklustre batting form on the field and a string of controversies as he relinquished captaincy in all formats of the game. “Brand value is directly proportional to eyeballs, focus and the chemistry the brand is able to create among its users and fans. More so in the case of apersona brand from the world of cricket,” said Harish Bijoor, founder, Harish Bijoor Consults.
“Kohli’s brand valuation is down. It is bound to be. He no longer sports the India captain’s cap. He no longer bears the RCB mantle, as well. New names occupy these positions today. As each of them deepen their brand valuation, Kohli will weaken his. It’s all part of thegame called branding!” While Kohli retained the top position in rankings, Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh ($158 million) jumped a spot to number two in 2021 and Akshay Ku- mar ($140 million) slipped to the third spot. ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ actor Alia Bhatt ($68 million) took the number four spot by displacing Shah Rukh Khan and became the most valued female celebrity in 2021.
Among other sports celebrities, Olympic silver medalist P V Sindhu ($22 million) ranked number 20. The overall brand value of the top 20 Indian celebrities in 2021 was pegged at $1. 2 billion, an increase of nearly 13% from the previous year. The cumulative number of product brand endorsements by the top 20 celebrities increased to 376 in 2021, reflecting recovery and growth from 357 product brands in 2020. This growth was driven by endorsements in new age companies that grew to about 12% of the total endorsements.