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Virat Kohli retains top spot as most valued celebrity bran

Mumbai:  Cricketer Virat Kohli has retained his position as India’s most valuable celebrity brand in 2021, despite losing over a fifth of his worth in the year that saw the batsman stepping down from captaincy of the Indian cricket team.

Kohli’s value was pegged at USD 185.7 million (close to Rs 1,400 crore) which is down from USD 237.7 million in 2020, the report by consultancy firm Duff & Phelps said.

Actor Ranveer Singh has pipped older peer Akshay Kumar to become the second most valuable celebrity in India with USD 158.3 million worth. Kumar is now ranked third with the brand value of USD 139.6 million.

Actor Alia Bhat at fourth rank overall is top among females with a brand value of USD 68.1 million, and is followed by Deepika Padukone with USD 51.6 million of worth. Padukone is at the seventh place on the list.

Aviral Jain, managing director of the consultancy, said prominent Bollywood celebrities continue to feature on the list of top 20 celebrity brands while sports persons or those associated with sports like Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and PV Sindhu are also on the list.

From the perspective of surge in brand values, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, and MS Dhoni witnessed a stellar jump, he added.

“Businesses and brands have heavily leveraged social media and other online platforms for brand endorsements this year, too, with below par weightage to traditional platforms,” Varun Gupta who heads the firm’s valuation advisory services in Asia-Pacific said.

The cumulative number of product brand endorsements by the top 20 celebrities increased to 376 in 2021, as against 357 product brands in 2020, which the consultancy claims is reflective of a reasonable recovery.

There has been a revamp in the celebrity endorsement space in the last two years where the word “celebrity” is no longer synonymous with just Bollywood actors or A-league cricketers, but also includes a wide range of sports athletes and social media influencers under its umbrella, stemming from the significant increase in usage of digital platforms due to COVID-19 pandemic, the firm said.

Television continues to contribute the highest spends in advertising, but digital media, the second largest, is fast catching up and will emerge as the largest in terms of spend in 2023, it said.

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