PepsiCo ends 11-year-old contract with MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli is the new face

New Delhi, Aug 29: PepsiCo has ended its 11-year-old association with India's limited over's skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will no longer feature in the ads of the global cola brand.

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PepsiCo's top choice for the same is now India's Test skipper Virat Kohli, who has emerged as new youth icon and left Dhoni behind in terms of brand endorsements and value.

MS Dhoni's 11-year-contract with PepsiCo ends

This development marks MS Dhoni's diminishing brand value ever since he retired from Test cricket which reduced his appearance from the screen.

As per a report published in Economic Times, the 35-year-old cricketer, who rose from the ranks and became one of the country's most successful captains, was the face of both Pepsi Cola and Lay's chips. His association with PepsiCo dates back to 2005. 'Oh Yes Abhi' and 'Change The Game' were among the company's biggest campaigns that featured him.

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PepsiCo VP for beverages Vipul Prakash confirmed the development. "At PepsiCo, our focus in advertising and marketing is to make our products the hero and celebrate the hero," Prakash said. "The idea will always play the most important role. If there's a role for the celebrity that helps take forward the idea of celebrating our product, we're more than happy to taking it further."

Relying on its tagline of 'Youngistaan', PepsiCo has had a reputation of replacing old celebrities with young and dynamic faces. In the past, Dhoni replaced India's cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar in Pepsi Cola ads and now Virat has acquired Dhoni's throne.

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Earlier last year, Dhoni was ranked 23rd on the Forbes list of The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2015, dropping a notch from his ranking of 22 last year. Dhoni's total earnings stood at USD 31 million, including amount from salary/winnings at USD 4 million and endorsements worth USD 27 million.

Until 2014, Dhoni endorsed 18 brands charging Rs 10-12 crore each. Now, the list of brands is said to be less than 10. Besides Pepsi, others like Sony TV and Dabur confirmed they are no longer associated with the cricketer.

'Brand Dhoni' has taken a beating the last one and a half year post his retirement from Test cricket. 'Run Machine' Virat Kohli is the new hot favourite of the global brands, which are targetting Indian youth.

OneIndia News

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