Cristiano Ronaldo’s now-famous Coca-Cola snub at the Euro 2020 not only became an instant hit on social media, but it had far-reaching financial implications with the brand’s stock prices dropping to 1.6%, as they went from USD 242 billion to USD 238 billion - a loss of USD 4 billion. But did you know Indian skipper Virat Kohli, one of the biggest faces in the brand endorsement industry very much like Ronaldo, had also refused to endorse a soft drink brand way back in 2017?
“Things that I’ve endorsed in the past, I won’t take names, but something that I feel that I don’t connect to anymore… I won’t urge others to consume it just because I’m getting money out of it." “When I started my fitness turnaround, it was more of a lifestyle thing initially. If something goes away from that, I would not want to be a part of that or be promoting that,” Kohli had said during an interview to CNN-IBN in 2017.
“I want to give something to people that I use, myself. One of the reasons, I decided not to sign Pepsi is that I have undergone a lifestyle change. And, I am not using that product anymore," he added.
Kohli was associated with PepsiCo for nearly six years, before deciding to drop the brand from his endorsement list. Kohli’s reservation, similar to Ronaldo’s was on increasing health issues over carbonated drinks.
In 2020, Virat Kohli topped the charts for the fourth time in a row as India’s most valued celebrity with a brand value of USD 237.7 million, according to Duff & Phelps new report titled ‘Embracing the New Normal’.
Kohli, who has more than 30 brands in his portfolio, continues to remain a favorite with brands across industries. The Indian cricket team captain also tops the social media ranking with a total of 165 million followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.