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In March, it was reported (read more about that here) that Virat Kohli and his team were negotiating with carbonated soft drink manufacturer Pepsi Co. The India skipper was then unsure of extending the deal amid health concerns associated with cola products which is in sharp contrast with Kohli’s personal brand of health and fitness. And now it appears that the deal would not be extended. Kohli’s deal with the beverage giant was set to reported to expire on June 30.
With the decision, Kohli is unlikely to extend his six year association with Pepsi – a deal that fetches him multi crores in brand endorsement. Despite Pepsi Co’s interest in prolonging the deal that draws plenty of eyeballs for the Indian consumer, Kohli’s stance and decision has rendered that waste.
“If I myself won’t consume such things, I won’t urge others to consume it, just because I am getting money out of it,” Kohli is quoted as telling CNN-IBN. “When I started my fitness turnaround, it was more of a lifestyle thing initially. If something goes away from that, I would not want to be a part of that or be promoting that. We are actually on the cusp of making some big changes on that front. Things that I’ve endorsed in the past, I won’t take names, but something that I feel that I don’t connect to anymore,” he added.
Meanwhile in March, as per a report in Economic Times, Cornerstone Sport CEO Bunty Sajdeh was quoted as saying, “Virat is contracted with Pepsi until April 30. We are currently negotiating a contract extension with the Pepsi-Co team. Pepsi has been one of our longest and most fruitful associations until now and hopefully we will collaborate with them for years to come.” Cornerstone Sport is the agency that represents Kohli.
Pepsi Co had previously been endorsed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni with the deal expiring in 2016 after an association of 11 years. With the two poster boys of Indian cricket opting to cut ties with the Pepsi, it would be interesting to see their marketing strategy going forward.