Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. (Source: Virat Kohli verified twitter handle).

Virat Kohli Most Valuable Celebrity In 2018 With $170.9 Million Brand Value 

Indian cricket skipper Virat Kohli topped the list of the most valuable celebrity brand in the country for the second year in a row, with an 18 percent increase in his brand value at $170.9 million in 2018, according to a report.

The cricketer endorsed 24 brands as of November 2018, the global valuation and corporate finance advisors Duff & Phelps said in its fourth edition of the report on India's most valuable celebrity brands on Thursday.

He is followed by Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who jumped a place higher from the previous ranking, with a valuation of $102.5 million. She endorsed 21 brands as of November 2018.

The top two are the only celebrities with a valuation of over $100 million. The total value of the top 20 celebrity brands stands at $877 million, with the top 10 contributing more than 75 percent of the total value.

Endorsers such as Virat Kohli and Deepika Padukone have been structuring endorsement deals with an equity element, which in turns helps them maintain a long-term association with the brand and share the upside from the performance of the company, it said.

"The celebrity endorsement market in India has matured from vanilla endorsement deals to full-fledged partnerships through innovative routes such as equity deals and strategic partnerships... Millennial celebrities continue to be the first choice for brand endorsements as companies want to have a greater focus on the youth segment fuelled by demand in sectors such as e-commerce, retail, fast moving consumer goods and smartphones, among others," Duff & Phelps Managing Director and Asia Pacific leader for valuation services Varun Gupta said.

Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh, too, improved their rankings by a place, to occupy the third and fourth position with a valuation of $67.3 million and $63 million, respectively.

Actor Shah Rukh Khan slipped to the fifth place from the second position, with a valuation of $60.7 million.

While Bollywood celebrities dominate the rankings of the top 20 celebrities, sports persons provide tough competition. Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and PV Sindhu collectively contributed almost $241 million, which is over 27 percent of the cumulative brand value of the top 20 celebrities pegged at $877 million, Duff & Phelps Managing Director Aviral Jain said.

As per ESP Properties data, over the past decade celebrity-led endorsements increased in number from 650 in 2007 to 1,660 in 2017, representing a steady CAGR of 10 percent. Further, television ad spends with celebrity endorsers rose from Rs 1,550 crore in 2007 to Rs 6,660 crore in 2017 at a CAGR of 16.1 percent.

TV ads with celebrity endorsers represented close to 24 percent of the total TV ad spends in 2017, which represents a 5 percent uptick from 2007.

The report noted the rising trend of power couples, as brands can target each partner's unique following and voice by tapping into a power couple's reach and impact.

"The coming together of a power couple creates a larger platform that brands want to leverage to target the youth. This year, power couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma have endorsed around 40 brands together such as Head & Shoulders, Manyavar, Pepsi, Celkon, Boost, Audi, Fastrack, Gionee, Wrogn and Polaroid," it said.