A single tweet from Virat Kohli’s personal account creates an impact worth ₹1 crore, if to be valued in monetary terms. While brands look for opportunities to benefit from the social media power of India’s biggest celebrity icon, the man himself was at the receiving end of the negative impact of an “impulsive outburst” on his own twitter handle.
For any force that creates phenomenal values with its positivity, it is natural and obvious to have destructive impact with its negativity. That’s what Kohli experienced over the past few days.
One of the strongest Indian athletes, with a nerve of steel, Kohli was in the eye of a storm following his outburst to a tweet that he obviously didn’t like underrating him in comparison to the Australians and the Britons.
Virat Kohli “I don’t think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else. Why are you living in our country and loving other countries” pic.twitter.com/YbPG97Auyn
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) 6 November 2018
The instant reaction had caused more damage than Kohli could anticipate. The negativity around an “unwelcome statement” had worried some of the brands, who pay Kolhi crore of rupees to benefit from the positive impact the batting maestro creates with his craft and fan following.
While some came out in open to support Kolhi or to douse the negative impact of his tweet, some others reportedly expressed their discomfort anonymously. Then came a timely realisation by Kohli to do some damage control.
I guess trolling isn’t for me guys, I’ll stick to getting trolled! ?
I spoke about how “these Indians” was mentioned in the comment and that’s all. I’m all for freedom of choice. ? Keep it light guys and enjoy the festive season. Love and peace to all. ✌?
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) 8 November 2018
“This second tweet by Kohli simply establishes that the previous comment was an impulsive outburst. What he is saying now is more cogitative and it in a way manages the crisis,”
Says Harish Bijoor, brand and business strategist and owner of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.
“It’s good that the whole issue is not blown out of proportions. However, if Kolhi were going to stand by or back his initial comments, or if only he were to say one more time that ‘these people should leave the country’, then there could have been some backlash from some brands, who could have come out in open and said that we don’t stand by our ambassador,” adds Bijoor. “Had there not been this timely realisation, his brand value too would have taken a hit.”
A Hookit report last year had valued a single social media post by Kohli at over ₹ 3 crore. Recently the price tag for a single commercial post on Kolhi’s official Instagram account was reported to be ₹ 85 lakh. India’s biggest brand icon has close to 9 million social media fan following – twitter (27.1 million), Facebook (37 million) and Instagram (25.3 million). Going by the average, his single tweet will be weighed worth ₹ 1 crore in monetary terms. This basic calculation puts in perspective the impact – negative of positive –a social media post by Kohli might create.
According to a report by Business Daily Economic Times, while some brands in the aftermath of trolling over Kohli’s ‘leave India’ comment have openly come in support of the Team India captain, some others have expressed their displeasure anonymously.
Puma India managing direct Abhishek Ganguly has said that “The issue is being blown out of proportion. Anyone who has seen the entire video on Virat’s fan app will know that he was speaking in jest in a section called ‘Virat responds to mean tweets’.”
Puma had associated with the Indian cricket captain to launch his lifestyle brand One8 last year.
“People know the respect Kohli has for cricketers from across the world. AB de Villiers, for example, is not just a great buddy of his but as per him, the most skilled cricketer,” Ganguly said.
Smaaash Entertainment promoter Shripal Morakhia dismissed the post as “It was an emotional outburst, which can happen. Virat has proved himself in all forms of cricket and he should not be judged like the way he is being.”
The ET report states that officials of some other companies had expressed disappointment at Kohli’s video statement. “We are living in the age of social media and he being a youth icon and making statements like he did puts our brand in bad light too,” said a senior official of a beverage brand that Kohli endorses.
“This was unexpected of Virat. Any statement like this by a responsible brand ambassador can also drag the brand into question – unfortunately, it does get linked to brands he is directly associated with,” said a top official representing another brand that Kohli backs.
Kohli endorses about 18 global and Indian brands and is said to command a fee of ₹4.5-5 crore a day for one-off appearances. Kohli is the most valuable celebrity in India, with a brand value of $144 million, according to a December 2017 Duff&Phelps report.