We take a deep-dive into a personality from the world of cricket, decoding the social media presence of Virat Kohli and the personal brand he built over the years.
His exceptional skills on the field have not only made Virat Kohli a favorite of Indian cricket fans but also for brands, who have associated with him over the years. Along with tremendous sportsmanship, Kohli as a brand ambassador proved to be responsible when he dropped soft drink & fairness cream brands from his list of brand associations.
In the latest section of Celebrity Brands, we take a look at the Virat Kohli social media strategy & the lessons on personal branding, social media responsibility, and marketing tactics he offers, with data inputs from Qoruz.
Brand Virat Kohli: Social Media Overview
At a time, when fans are taking notice of celebrities taking a more humanitarian and selfless approach through their social media presence, Kohli continues to remain popular with his frank communication & attitude.
The cricketer leverages social media in a 360-degrees manner. From Virushka moments to the posts associated with cricket, from brand collaborations such as Puma, Audi, Star Sports, amongst many more, amplified through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to his own business ventures promoted through his social media pages, Kohli also shares the NGO initiatives undertaken.
The year 2020 commenced with motivating posts of the cricketer with Anushka Sharma, sporting candid moments. As COVID-19 took a grip over the world, the cricketer’s social media page took a more serious turn from sharing cricket moments to urging his fans to take responsibility & support the government initiatives to fight the ongoing pandemic…
The cricketer also supported many cause-based campaigns like #MatKarForward & #LockdownOnDomesticViolence during these times.
Another likable trend observed on Kohli’s throughout his social media pages is his constant support for spouse & Bollywood actor, Anushka Sharma & her OTT ventures. Time & again, Virushka has been under the ire of trolls that both have tackled gracefully. The power couple is often seen sharing a glimpse of the pranks and candid moments with each other across social media platforms.
A noteworthy part of the cricketer’s social media strategy has been ‘fitness’ that he passionately shares through & through his pages.
Social Media Footprint & Analysis
As per a Duff & Phelps Celebrity Brand Valuation Report released in Feb 2020, Kohli retained the top position for the third consecutive year in 2019. His brand value rose by 39% to USD 237.5 million (mn) in the same year. Social media plays a crucial for the cricketer where the cricket star seems to have struck the correct chords through his social communication & tonality.
Kohli boasts of the below number of followers across social media channels:
Instagram: 69.4 million
Facebook: 37 million
Twitter: 36.7 million
According to the Qoruz data for engagement statistics of the cricketer’s social media page, Instagram stands at 4.5% of the engagement rate.
There has been an increase of approx. 4.8m followers on Kohli’s Instagram in the last 30 days.
The cricketer hit a half-century to achieve 50 million Instagram followers in February 2020 making his profile one of the most followed pages from the Entertainment & Sports sector in India.
Dissecting Kohli’s Instagram audience segment further, it is observed that more than 15% of Kohli’s followers are into fitness. The rest of the audience set is skewed towards Travel, Style & Fashion, Beauty & Technology.
According to data, Kohli enjoys 0.35% engagement on his Facebook account making it to the top 1% of influencers with a score of 9.27. Major Facebook post hashtags used have been around his own brands and the cricket matches played.
However, the cricketer’s follower count showed a decline in the last 30 days on Facebook.
The cricketer’s twitter profile witnessed a 0.07% engagement rate with a significant gap in his post retweets & average favorites.
Also, more than 85% of his Twitter followers in India are males.
Throughout Kohli’s social media presence, the cricketer gains maximum traction for content associated with Cricket & Football, followed by Travel, Food & drink, and clothing.
Throughout his social media pages, Kohli shares a glimpse of his haven & endearing moments with spouse Anushka Sharma. The social media posts range from the couple sharing candid moments to even pranking one another with copies reflecting the humane approach of the sports star.
Also read: Celebrity Brands: Ayushmann Khurrana – A social media play of colors, art & brand associations
Cricket Your Way
Regarded as one of the top batsmen in the world, Kohli’s social media presence is dominated with moments leveraging cricket. The posts across his social media pages range from his practice sessions to fun-moments with inspiring words of action as the caption reflects pride for his country.
With the ongoing pandemic, the cricketer has supported some pressing issues such as Domestic Violence and the spread of misinformation.
In 2013, the cricketer had also started a charity, Virat Kohli Foundation to support budding talent. With COVID-19, the cricketer often comes forth with Live sessions and motivating posts.
According to the Forbes 2020 List, the Indian cricket captain has been placed at 66th spot in the list of highest-earning sportspersons. According to a recent TAM AdEx Report, Brand Virushka bagged 26% share of ad volumes with 16 number of brands associated with them.
Some of the top brand collaborations for Virat Kohli have been:
On Instagram & Facebook, Kohli is most visible for brands associated with e-commerce & apparel.
On Twitter, Kohli has collaborated more with TV Channels followed by Apparel brands.
Some of the other categories associated with the Indian cricket team captain are – Automobiles, Electronic appliances, cosmetics, and Applications.
Virat Kohli has several business ventures in his kitty that are amplified through his Social media presence. This includes Wrogn, One8, and Chisel. Apart from these, the cricketer is also into & the co-owner of the Indian Super League club – FC Goa, International Premier Tennis League franchise – UAE Royals, and Sports’ Convo- a Tech startup, included amongst his top business investments.
Virat’s association with One8 contributed to 10 percent of Puma India sales for the global sportswear brand Puma in the 2019 fiscal year.
In collaboration with Anjana Reddy’s Universal Sportsbiz (USPL), Kohli had launched WROGN, often tying up with Myntra and Shopper’s stop to sell the products of the apparel brand.
Recently, WROGN partnered with Animal Planet to support the cause of endangered species. The brand often leverages topicals and causes for its marketing strategy.
The post copies are again in resonance with the Brand personality of Virat – direct & conversational.
His brand endorsements roaster includes:
#SuperV on Star Network
Kohli is very passionate about fitness and consistently seems to challenge fitness regimes. The captions are usually around challenging the norms and practice being fit.
Challenging Hardik Pandya for Fly Pushups
Humor & Memes: Engaging the audience
The Indian Cricket Captain engages his followers with fun memes and moments revolving around the common themes of fitness, cricket & candid moments across his social media pages.
Cricket & fun moments
Overall, the Indian Team skipper’s social media strategy revolves around the common themes of fitness, frank & sometimes unfettered moments, cricket, and brand associations.
The captions posted are mostly in the active voice with frank & confident tonality, often with minimalistic & inspiring words, in tandem with the persona of the cricketer.
Till now, Kohli has remained one of the undisputed leaders in terms of the number of followers across some major social media platforms. Only time will tell if the captain continues his winning streak.