Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has dethroned Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan to become the most valuable celebrity brand in the country, with a brand value of $144 million registering a growth of 56 per cent from last year, according to a report.
This increase is primarily driven by his growing endorsement fees, on-field performances and rise in popularity index, according to the Duff & Phelps report Rise of the Millennials: India's Most Valuable Celebrity Brands.
"For the first time since we began publishing our rankings, Shah Rukh Khan has slipped from the top ranking and been replaced by Virat Kohli. Kohli is now the first choice of brands to engage and attract consumers, fueled by his extraordinary on-field performances and off-field charisma," Duff & Phelps managing director and region leader - India, Japan and Southeast Asia Varun Gupta said.
Shah Rukh Khan slipped to second rank, with a brand value of $106 million, down by nearly 20 percent as compared to 2016, while actress Deepika Padukone, valued at $93 million, retained her third rank.
Kohli 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 $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 $15 million.
Total value of the top 15 celebrity brands is estimated to be $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 $180 million, account for nearly a quarter of the overall celebrity brand value of the top 15," Duff & Phelps director Aviral Jain pointed out.
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, with Alia Bhatt leading the pack, adding two personal care brands, an e-commerce brand, and a food and beverage brand to her portfolio.
It also observed that millennials currently endorse 64 percent of the total brands endorsed by the top 15 celebrities and constitute 63 percent of the total brand value.
The top sectors using celebrity brand endorsers include personal care, food and beverages, automobiles, smartphones and clothing.