New Delhi, Nov 27: India cricketer Virat Kohli's popularity is soaring with every passing day and the 30-year-old raking in the moolah for his dominant show on the cricket field.
Brands make a beeline to join hands with the aggressive right-handed batsman who commands huge fan following in the cricket-crazy nation. The fastest man to 10000 ODI runs is a cricketing sensation with whom every brand wants to associate.
As per a Reuters report, Kohli endorses 21 brands including Tissot, Audi, Puma, Uber and Hero, pushing him into the Forbes' 2018 list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes.
Present at No. 83 in the list on the back of his estimated $24 million income in the last financial year, Kohli is the world's top-earning cricketer and comes in ahead of the likes of Novak Djokovic and Sergio Aguero.
The Forbes' list is topped by Floyd Mayweather followed by Lionel Messi.
Kohli might not be able to surpass these athletes for the game of cricket doesn't have a global appeal like football but the Delhi cricketer is certainly tipped to be the highest-earning athlete in India.
The current India cricket team captain could soon surpass his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the highest earning Indian athlete ever. MS Dhoni - who led India to two World Cup glories (2007 T20I, 2011 ODI) - earned $31 million in 2015.
Kohli's strong social media presence i.e. 37 million fans on Facebook, 25 million on Instagram, and 27.1 million on Twitter also comes in handy for the cricketer to pitch his endorsements.
Kohli's brand value fails to take a beating despite the cricketer having the persona of a naturally aggressive cricketer who wears his heart on his sleeve and never falls short of retaliating if provoked.
"He speaks his mind, takes stands, interacts on social media -- all of it goes well with his fans," Lokapally was quoted by the report, describing Kohli as "complete theatre".