Rohit Sharma: brand world’s new poster boy | The Financial Express

Rohit Sharma: brand world’s new poster boy

While the Indian skipper’s brand value has surged in recent years, Sharma may still be some way off from commanding the star power seen in his predecessors

Rohit Sharma: brand world’s new poster boy
, Sharma has consistently been the most popular player in the IPL over the last three years.

As Rohit Sharma takes on the captaincy reins of the Indian cricket team from predecessor Virat Kohli, the big question is, whether he will witness a corresponding ascension in brand endorsements and star power. On the endorsement front, Kohli currently holds the lion’s share with an estimated brand value of $237.7 million, as per Kroll’s Celebrity Brand Valuation Study released in 2021. Comparatively, Sharma’s lot is still just a fraction of that value at $25.7 million, though experts believe captaincy will drive that number up. 

According to Hansa Research’s IPLomania study, Sharma has consistently been the most popular player in the IPL over the last three years, with former Indian skippers, Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni placed in the second and third positions, respectively. “Given that Dhoni now plays only the IPL and considering Kohli’s slump in form in the last two years, Sharma’s brand value will only increase,” notes Ashish Karnad, executive vice-president, Hansa Research, adding that his brand value will continue to soar if he also maintains a winning record as captain.

Often called the ‘hitman’ by fans and cricket commentators, Sharma currently endorses 24 brands across categories like finance, tech, lifestyle, healthcare and consumer goods. Among these are global brands like Adidas, Oakley and La Liga. Industry sources also say that his endorsement fee has more than doubled in the past few months to around Rs 5 crore per deal. 

Aviral Jain, managing director, Kroll points out that Sharma’s personal brand value may be viewed also in terms of his social media following, which has been steadily increasing year-on-year. “With social media followers totalling more than 60 million (as of November, 2021) across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Rohit garners significant engagement on digital platforms as well,” explains Jain, noting that the cricketer’s following has doubled in three years. He adds that Sharma has scored across diverse brand segments given his personal brand positioning of being cool, energetic and trustworthy.

While Sharma has demonstrated his abilities with the bat and even as captain, having led the Mumbai Indians to win five IPL titles, experts add that he still has a few years to go before he can match the level of stardom that Kohli or Dhonicommand. Sandeep Goyal, managing director, Rediffusion, points out the differences in attributes between Sharma and his predecessors. “The interesting part about Rohit Sharma, paradoxically, is that he is very uninteresting, especially after the likes of Dhoni and Kohli. That has its advantages too,” he remarks, elaborating that while the two former captains have been flamboyant and aggressive in their personalities, what Sharma has going for him is his dependability, consistency and solid performance, which make him a good fit for brands that want to communicate “trust and credibility”. 

The other key differentiator is the maturity factor, with Sharma taking on captaincy at the age of 34 – he therefore peaked quite late compared to Dhoni and Kohli, who had huge brand value much earlier in their careers, observes Karnad. Since he is a seasoned player, industry sources also say that Sharma is cautious about his choice of brands. His maturity and temperament also make him a safe bet for brands since he rarely finds himself embroiled in controversy or scandal. 

Given that he possibly has two or three years to go before hanging up his boots, and with two big ICC World Cups coming up, experts concur that Sharma could very well bow out with a highly enhanced brand value.

Read Also: EORTV appoints Falguni Shah as managing director

Follow us on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn, Facebook

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.