Indian Olympic Gold medalist, Neeraj Chopra, has recently garnered a lot of traction in the public eye and become what is effectively a household name after his success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He was the first athlete from India to secure a gold medal for the country in a track and field event. This revelatory achievement has turned him into an online phenomenon and a social media star. Since the day of the Olympics, the athlete’s stocks on social and digital media have been going up at a rapid pace. This was further supported by a research report issued by the research consultancy firm, YouGov SPORT.
According to the report by the research firm, the Indian athlete’s stocks have been skyrocketing amidst his newfound popularity. Chopra has recorded over 2.9 million mentions from over 1.4 million authors, which makes him the ‘most mentioned’ athlete on a global scale on Instagram during the course of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as reported by Business Insider. These numbers allegedly represent around 1,401 per cent and 2,055 per cent increase in the mentions from separate online authors respectively. Due to this, Chopra’s reach and influence on social media as well as digital media has reached around 412 million. This is on a global scale. All this information combined pulls the Olympian’s total social media valuation to Rs 428 crore, according to Business Insider and the YouGov SPORT report.
One example of one of his most viral posts was that of Chopra laying in the hospital bed before and after the Olympics with the caption: “From May 2019 to today; from an elbow brace to a medal in my hand-it has been quite the journey! I am grateful for Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala’s medical support and my team (coach @bartonietz and physio @ishaanphysio) who have been by my side throughout the past 2 years. I hope this medal can inspire all those who are facing tough times in their lives to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Happy #IndependenceDay, Jai Hind!”
Chopra, who is managed and supported by JSW Sports, has established himself in the mainstream media and other platforms in such a way that it translates to commercial success. Divyanshu Singh, Head of Sales and Marketing, JSW Sports had said that Chopra had been consistently performing in an outstanding manner in his discipline over the last five to six years, which is the reason behind his immense success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to Business Insider.
It was also mentioned in the report that the athlete’s total social media interactions since he bagged the gold medal have risen to 12.79 million, which stands at an increasing rate of 86.3 per cent. One of the core factors that contributed to the increased levels of fans watching his videos thereby increasing the view count, which has been recorded at 4.05 million according to the report. This is nearly three times the average of Indian athletes on social media, reported Business Insider. The Olympic athlete is also overshadowing even international cricket stars such as KL Rahul and Rishab Pant in terms of total interactions and the overall reach on social media that they have.
With the increase in popularity to such a degree, the Olympic athlete has seen a massive spike in followers on his social media platforms, especially Instagram, which has shown the athlete to have around 4.4 million followers. This represents a 2,297 per cent jump in his follower count as per the report. His recent popularity and proven track record, so to speak, have made him not just popular amongst fans and followers on social media, but also the target of many brands and businesses that are offering him new opportunities and opening up new doors for the sports star to branch out and grow his celebrity.