With a brand valuation of USD 144 million to his credit, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has toppled Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to become the most valuable celebrity brand in the country.
Kohli's brand value grew 56 per cent compared to last year, while Khan lost the top post for the first time, according to a report by Duff & Phelps released on Wednesday.
The report, Rise of the Millennials: India's Most Valuable Celebrity Brands, attributed Kohli's brand value surge to his growing endorsement fees, onfield performances and rise in popularity index.
"For the first time since we began publishing our rankings, Shah Rukh Khan has slipped from the top ranking and been replaced by Virat Kohli who is now the first choice of brands to engage and attract consumers, fuelled by his extraordinary onfield performances and off-field charisma," Duff & Phelps managing director and region leader - India, Japan and Southeast Asia Varun Gupta said.
While Khan slipped to the second spot with a brand value of USD 106 million, down by nearly 20 per cent compared to 2016, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone retained her third spot with USD 93 million valuation.
The cricketer endorses 20 brands as of October 2017, while Khan and Padukone endorse 21 and 23 brands, respectively.
Actor Akshay Kumar added seven new product brands to his portfolio and his brand value surged nearly 97 per cent to reach USD 47 million in 2017.
Ace shuttler PV Sindhu is the first female sports personality to feature in the top 15 celebrities, occupying the 15th slot with a brand valuation of USD 15 million.
Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the only other sports person to feature in the top 15 list, taking the 13th position with a brand value of USD 21 million.
Total value of the top 15 celebrity brands is estimated to be USD 712 million, and sports celebrities contributed around 25 per cent of the total celebrity brand value in 2017. While Bollywood celebrities continue to dominate the top 15, sportspersons are providing tough competition as Kohli, Dhoni and Sindhu, collectively valued at USD 180 million, account for nearly a quarter of the overall celebrity brand value of the top 15, Duff & Phelps director Aviral Jain said.
Celebrities are believed to feature in close to 50 per cent of all advertisements aired in India, the report said, adding that the number of products endorsed by the top 15 celebrities has seen a 14 per cent growth over last year.
In 2016, the top 15 celebrities endorsed 205 products, which rose to 234 in 2017. Female celebrity brand values contributed 25 per cent of the total brand value of the top 15 celebrities.