Sports sponsorship crosses Rs 9000 cr mark in 2019 driven by media, on-ground spends: Report

MUMBAI: ESP Properties– the entertainment and sports division of GroupM India, today released the 2020 report on sports sponsorship in India. Overall sports sponsorship grew 17% to cross the Rs 9000 crore mark in 2019 driven by media spends and on-ground sponsorship.

Cricket continued to drive the sports sponsorship market in 2019 with IPL and ICC World Cup giving a big push to on-ground sponsorship and media spends. Sports sponsorship added Rs 1347 crore to the total value with media spends contributing a whopping Rs 800 crore.

On-ground sponsorship grew by 25% to cross Rs 2000 crore mark for the first time while media spends were up by 18% at Rs 5232 crore. Digital shot up by a whopping 84% from Rs 475 crore to Rs 875 crore.

While TV continues to grow as the biggest medium for ad spends in sports, brands are also having a clear digital plan along with a presence on TV to build a rapport with their consumers by reaching out to them in more ways than one, the report stated.

Of the Rs 2006 crore worth on-ground sponsorship, cricket contributed Rs 1290 crore followed by Football (Rs 140 crore), Kabaddi (Rs 128 crore), Marathon (Rs 123 crore), Golf (Rs 54 crore) and other sports (Rs 272 crore).

BCCI home series deals saw double the jump in sports sponsorship amounts. Paytm’s bid was at 58% incremental value in comparison to the previous per match value. Dream11, Lafarge Holcim (ACC Cement and Ambuja Cement), Hyundai will be the official sponsors for the next four years. At Rs 2.59 crore per match, the three sponsors will layout 73% more than the previous round.

While the cricket juggernaut rolled on, football saw a de-growth of 6% with a revenue delivery of Rs 140 crore. With the Indian Super League (ISL) Central Sponsorships not matching up to the 2018 deliveries, football had a second successive year of de-growth, with a number significantly lower than the tally in 2017 when India hosted the FIFA U17 event.

Kabaddi has been raiding the Indian sports scenario since the advent of the Pro Kabaddi (PKL). However, in the absence of fresh infusion of energy, the sport struggled with the growth conundrum and declined by 15% to Rs 128 crore in 2019, thereby dropping below football in overall value to the No. 3 position.

The endorsement industry grew by 11% to Rs 537 crore where cricketers contributed the most yet again validating the point that sports leagues and celebrity endorsements go hand in hand. In 2019, 70 new brand endorsement deals had happened. 50 out of 70 endorsements were done by cricketers.

While 85% of total brand endorsements have come from cricketers, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni pulled away 63% of the total brand endorsements. A total of 329 endorsement deals took place out of which 228 brands signed up with cricketers.

The non-cricketing space was dominated by women athletes. Badminton queen P V Sindhu was the leading non-cricketing athlete in 2019 in terms of brand endorsements. While Sindhu added four brands to her portfolio, the most notable one among them was her tie-up with VISA that made her the first Indian athlete to endorse the financial services brand.

Mary Kom was another prominent name in the list of brand endorsers. While she brought glory for India at international Boxing events, she also added four brands to her tally. Adding to their list of brands were track & field sensation Hima Das and Olympic Medallist Sakshi Malik too. All the women athletes added 11 new brands in 2019 takes the tally to 45 from 34 in 2018.

ESP Properties Business Head Vinit Karnik said, “Indian sports industry is on an upward trajectory breaking new grounds year-on-year. While cricket proved its dominance in 2019, overall the last 5 years the industry has doubled its size. If we look further, we can see a strong CAGR of 12.8% in the business of sports over the last 10 years, making it one of the strong pillars of the Indian economy. With the sports industry growing at 17% in 2019, the momentum on sports with added thrust from the government provides a holistic opportunity for the sector. Initiatives like Khelo India and Fit India movement are drivers towards making India a truly sporting nation.”

GroupM South Asia CEO Prasanth Kumar said, “Over the last decade, we have witnessed the growth of sports leagues and their gaining popularity across the country. The sports industry has been growing and has witnessed a significant upward shift in the overall ad spends. The passion and excitement that’s involved in this platform have only strengthened. We see more and diverse audience indulging with this platform. Many innovations and leverage of assets in this space are powerful opportunities. As we are unfolding another decade, we see this space to be providing powerful thrust for greater brand stories.”

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