New Delhi: Despite India failing to reach the finals of the ICC World T20 2016, one Indian player became the talk of the town – Virat Kohli. Not only because he scored the highest runs in the series and won the Player of the Tournament award, there are other reasons as well.
After overtaking Indian skipper MS Dhoni as the highest paid batsman on the endorsement circuit, Kohli has now left him way behind to become the most trending cricketer on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram throughout the nation.
A report by social media tracker Autumn Worldwide reveals that Virat Kohli, who is now being compared with cricketing legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, averaged a record of around 12 lakh conversations in the month of March, which is almost double as compared to Dhoni, who ended with 7 lakh conversations.
Anusha Shetty, CEO at Autumn Worldwide said, "Conversation volume in India has always been in the range of 1.5 lakh to four lakh. For the first time, we are seeing a jump with the range being between 10 lakh and 12 lakh. Kohli now has a clear lead."
“This is the social world where every subject is discussed...the cascading effect of conversations is higher and performance during matches and personal lives sway this volume of conversations,” she further added.
Before the commencement of the ICC World T20 Championship, both Kohli and Dhoni averaged almost similar volumes of conversations. Even in some months like January 2016 when India defeated Australia in the T20 series, Dhoni overtook Kohli in terms of social media conversation volume.
However, Kohli now has 10.2 million followers on Twitter, which is almost double as compared to Dhoni’s 5.27 million followers.
"Virat is very appreciative of his fans and tries to make them a part of his life on social media. The content he posts reflects his personality and that helps increase his following," said Jogesh Lulla, the COO at Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment.
Virat Kohli’s overall earnings from brand endorsements are expected to be more than Rs 100 crore. The list of brands endorsed by him include Audi, Adidas, MRF, Colgate and Tissot.