New Delhi: He might be the most marketable athlete in the country at present, but Virat Kohli makes no bones about the fact that these numbers mean nothing to him. For the India skipper, it is all about achieving on the cricket pitch. And the Delhi boy reiterates that he is solely focused on taking Indian cricket to new heights.
In an exclusive chat, Kohli also made it clear that he was not in a race with either Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni when it comes to being the most marketable athlete in the country. He said that with an increase in the cash flow, there is bound to be progress and the next generation will see cricketers making more money than this lot.
“I can’t really pinpoint it to anything (on why he is the most marketable athlete even ahead of the likes of Tendulkar and Dhoni). Also, you need to understand where the commercial market is going. In general the money has increased in the sport, the money has increased with brands, so there is always going to be a progress,” he clarified.
“The guy coming in after a certain group of cricketers might make more money with brands. So you cannot really compare the value that someone has made in their prime with others. So I won’t compare but I can say that it has be a natural thing that people should find connect with you.
“They want to see you as part of the product that they consume or brands want to use you as connect between them and the people. I haven’t made a conscious effort on that and I have just been myself and maybe people have started to connect with me in a certain way.”
He is the role model for youngsters and Kohli understands the responsibility that comes with it. Even though he wasn’t so particular about endorsements earlier, Kohli makes it a point to only endorse those products that he consumes himself.
While the deal with Puma has seen Kohli the brand sail into new heights, there is an added incentive for the cricketer. Kohli wanted to start a sporting line of his own and thus the initiative to sign on the dotted lines.
“My primary demand with Puma was that I wanted to start a sporting line of my own, especially in cricket because I feel there is big disconnect when it comes to cricket attire in the country. You might say it is the biggest sport in the nation but when you go out to buy cricket clothes it is very difficult to buy good quality stuff. So, I wanted to make something with a big brand which everybody can use. People can have sports specific gear and have optimum performance on the field. If you keep making the facilities better, the performance is going to get better,” he revealed.
Kohli is known as much for his dressing skills as he is for the silken drives and flicks. And the batsman says the idea to start Wrogn was to try different things and bring a variety to the consumers.
“We do a lot of stuff with Wrogn. I have a strong passion for clothes. I like to dress up and I like to try different things. So this idea came about and it took off really well. My inputs are the most important things. We keep it flexible for everybody and just don’t take out a style that I like,” he said.
Kohli is also very close to kids and he says that is the reason behind the foundation he started.
“Virat Kohli foundation we set up quite a while back but to get it rolling, it was very important that we start raising funds in a big way. My vision was to provide for the underprivileged kids,” he signed off.