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.
Kohli will work with the German company to launch a signature line of sports lifestyle products with a special logo and brand identity. Bulk of the endorsement deal, estimated between Rs 12 to 14 crore annually, is locked up in fixed payout.
Kohli said, "It's a privilege to be part of a great list of athletes that Puma has. 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.
In 2013, Kohli had signed a Rs 10-crore per-annum, three-year deal with sports goods giant Adidas, but this ended when both parties decided not to renew the contract last December. The signing up with Puma, however, puts the dynamic cricketer in a new league altogether.
Abhishek Ganguly, MD, Puma India, said, "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."