There are some cricketers who rise above the gentleman’s game and become a brand. Their very name becomes synonymous with cricket. Their brand value rises above all and gives them a god-like status. Cricwizz takes a look at five such cricketers with the highest brand value in the world.
(Note: We have included only those players who are currently playing some form of cricket or the other.)
There’s no bigger cricketing brand than Indian captain Virat Kohli at the moment. He is the only cricketer in the Forbes’ list of World’s highest-paid athletes for 2019. He takes the No 100th spot in the list. His total earnings stand at $25M, including $4M as salary/winnings and $21M as endorsements. Kohli occupies the top spot for the 2nd consecutive time in the brand valuation rankings for 2018 released by Duff & Phelp. His brand value was pegged at $170.9 million in 2018, up about 19 per cent from the previous year. Kohli endorsed as many as 24 brands as on November 2018. His brand value is second to none.
Although he may have lost his batting touch with retirement calls growing louder with every passing day, MS Dhoni continues to be advertisers’ favourite. Although he may not beat Kohli as highest-earning Indian cricketer, he edges past his successor in terms of number of endorsements. MSD endorses 30 brands such as Dream XI, Snickers and Reebok as per last reports. Dhoni earns $0.7M from his Indian cricket commitments and $2.2M from his IPL contract. In 2014, he was only Indian sportsman in Forbes’ list of most valuable athlete with $20M. In 2019, he continues to be on the list of most valuable cricketer in terms of brand value, although he may not top the list.
The Universe Boss may be in the twilight of his career. But his brand is giving him work in various domestic T20 tournaments across the world. It’s his brand value that got him two seasons with KXIP in IPL 2019. And he’s still favourite to play for them in the next season. His endorsement deals continue to be a long one. He endorses Spartan Sports, Agrani Homes to name a few. He also plies his trade in other domestic T20 tournaments such as BPL, CPL & Big Bash league till recently. He was paid $1M by Balkh Legends in the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League on the virtue of his brand.
AB de Villiers
ABD may have retired, but his brand value continues to soar high while his brand of cricket is still missed by both Cricket South Africa, in the recent World Cup, and the fans. ABD continues to be a hit with the IPL franchise RCB that he and Kohli have become the face of the team. He earns $1.6M from RCB, $0.15M from the PSL draft. He endorses brands such as MRF, Audi, Puma. Although he hardly makes any public appearances, ABD has a huge fan following thanks to his brand value. He is so loved by Indian fans that they chanted ABD, ABD despite the South African bashing up the Indian bowling attack in an ODI in 2016 in Mumbai.
Rohit Sharma has created quite a brand for himself, setting himself apart from the other stalwarts in his team. His five tons in the World Cup has boosted his brand value. His record 4 IPL crowns make him the most successful skipper in this tournament, adding a further boost to his image and brand value. He has an A+ contract with BCCI, earning him Rs 7 crore. He holds a $2.1M contract with Mumbai Indians. His endorsements are on par with other top stars if not more. He endorses Adidas, Nissan, Hublot among others.
Players whose brand value took a hit but now rising steadily
David Warner, Steve Smith
The two were among the biggest brand values until recently until the sandpaper gate happened last year. The scandal eroded their brand value as they served a year-ban from international cricket. Advertisers also dumped them as they didn’t want to be associated with someone who tarnished the gentleman’s game. But they are back with a bang, first in the IPL, then World Cup and now the Ashes. Warner impressed in IPL, carrying forward his form in World Cup. Smith found top gear in the Ashes opener, scoring twin tons. They brand values are rising and not far behind to regain lost ground.