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How Olympian Neeraj Chopra’s social media valuation rose to Rs 428 cr

With a total tally of 7 medals – including 1 Gold, 2 Silvers and 4 Bronzes – the Tokyo Olympics 2020 could be called India’s best show at the prestigious tournament. The Games gave India much to cheer about, thanks to the spirited and medal-winning performances of athletes like Neeraj Chopra, who won India’s first track and field Gold at the Olympics; wrestlers Ravi Kumar Dahiya (Silver) and Bajrang Punia (Bronze); weightlifter Mirabai Chanu (Silver); boxer Lovlina Borgohain (Bronze); shuttler PV Sindhu (Bronze); and the Indian Hockey Team, which brought home a Bronze.

India’s athletes have returned home to numerous events to felicitate them, have received cash awards from state governments and some corporates, government jobs in some cases, and lucrative endorsement deals with brands looking for newer and inspiring youth icons beyond the usual cricket and film stars.

Neeraj Chopra has turned into a household name across the country today. Securing the first ever Olympic Gold medal for India in a track and field event, the javelin thrower’s sensational on-field performance has translated seamlessly into a digital phenomenon, making the 23-year-old athlete hugely popular on social media.

Since the day on which Chopra won the Olympic Gold, his stock has skyrocketed on social and digital media. According to a report by research consultancy firm YouGov SPORT, Chopra recorded over 2.9 million mentions from over 1.4 million authors, making him the ‘most mentioned’ athlete globally on Instagram during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. These numbers also represent a whopping 1401% and 2055% increase in his mentions from separate authors online, respectively. As a result, Chopra’s reach on social and digital media has reached a staggering 412 million, spanning several geographies over the world. These numbers have combined to take the athlete’s social media valuation to a total of Rs 428 crore.

The athlete, who is supported and managed by JSW Sports, has created inroads into mainstream commercial success as a result of his performances on the field, and his growing popularity off of it.

Divyanshu Singh, Head of Sales and Marketing, JSW Sports, remarked, “Neeraj has been a consistently outstanding performer in his discipline over the last five to six years, resulting in his phenomenal success at the Tokyo Olympics. He has now become a recognisable personality for the Indian masses on a scale that was hitherto unseen. This, in turn, has brought about a growing interest from brands and institutions looking at a long-term sustainable collaboration.”

According to the report by YouGov SPORT, Chopra’s total interactions on social media since bagging the Gold medal have risen to 12.79 million, at a rate of 86.3%. A key factor in the increased engagement on the athlete’s profile has been the steady increase in his video views, which is recorded at 4.05 million, nearly thrice the average for an elite Indian athlete on social media.

Chopra is also currently eclipsing established international cricketers like KL Rahul and Rishab Pant in terms of total interactions and overall reach on social media. Naturally, the number of account followers for Chopra has also seen a swift upswing, with his Instagram following now recorded at 4.4 million, representing a 2297% increase in his followers.

The fact that the 23-year-old can deliver value has been well established in the days since his remarkable success. This has opened a new opportunity with brands, which can innovate with strategies built around the young sensation.


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