Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Brand Value of Rising Sportstars

Published: Sep 21, 2013 06:33:08 AM IST
Updated: Sep 18, 2013 02:12:09 PM IST

These three international athletes are nearing the top of their game, and their endorsement earnings are set to soar.

Virat Kohli
With longtime champ Sachin Tendulkar going into retirement, Kohli’s already impressive career is expected to skyrocket. At 24, he already has more ads on Indian television than MS Dhoni. His take last year: $11 million, including $8.5 million in endorsements for Vicks, PepsiCo, Toyota and Nestlé.

Kei Nishikori
Only hardcore sports fans may have heard of this 23-year-old—he reached the Australian Open quarterfinal in 2012—but that hasn’t stopped him from raking in sponsors including Uniqlo, Adidas and Tag Heuer. As Japan’s top tennis player, he made $10.5 million last year—$9 million from endorsements.

This 21-year-old Brazilian’s income is valued at $20.5 million this year, half of it from deals with Nike, Panasonic and others. That number should explode in 2014, thanks to his five-year contract with FC Barcelona. Sponsors are lining up in anticipation of his becoming one of the world’s most famous athletes.

Images:  Virat: Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters; Kei: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters; Neymar: Gustau Nacarino / Reuters

(This story appears in the 04 October, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)