The Indian sports industry has grown from Rs 43,725 million in 2013 to Rs 48,069 million in 2015, registering a growth of 10 per cent in 2014. The second edition of the report, titled ‘Sporting Nation in the Making’, presented by GroupM ESP in association with Sportzpower, shows a dip in on ground sponsorship for cricket from Rs 5,083 million to Rs 4,647 million, while the cricket team sponsorship has registered a dip from Rs 3,892 million to Rs 3,478 million. The insight of the sports sponsorship report captures the trends and developments in advertising and sponsorship in the Indian Sports Industry in 2014.
Speaking on the future of sports marketing in India, CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM, South Asia, said, “Sports marketing is finally coming of age in India. Even though cricket has shown the way and continues to be the dominant sport, newer leagues are helping broad base sports and make it a great platform for brands. Digital, especially social media, is helping build a fan following much faster. At GroupM, we made inroads into sports marketing some years ago and are now scaling up our practice.”
The second edition of the report examines the emergence of five new leagues in India, advertising investments and sponsorship in Indian sport from four angles – on ground, team sponsorship (subset franchise fees), athlete endorsement, and on-air spends, investments in sports besides cricket, and 10 trends in the sports broadcast industry.
Focusing on the key developments that are expected in 2015, Vinit Karnik, National Director, Sports & Live Events, GroupM ESP, said, “The key highlights of this report are on ground sponsorships, team sponsorships & franchise fees, social conversations and endorsements. The sports industry has grown by 10 per cent in 2014 and seen the formation of newer leagues and successful franchises. From a single sports country to a multi-sport country, India is witnessing a boom, which will benefit the sports business ecosystem. In 2015, we predict to see a change in the way consumers interact in the realm of sports and entertainment.”
Dip in cricket on-ground numbers are mainly due to lesser matches being held in India in 2014, with only eight cricket matches played in India in 2014 vis-à-vis 21 matches in 2013. IPL also had no new central sponsor, resulting in a flat year for IPL ground sponsorship. New leagues contributed in driving the growth for on ground sponsorship. While ISL had 10 sponsors at the central level, with almost Rs 500 million sponsorship amount; Coca-Cola-IPTL was the landmark deal.
On the social media space, IPL had over 550,000 social conversations. In spite of the first season, ISL had around 200,000 conversations. PKL (70,000) has more conversation than IPTL (32,000) and HIL (11,000) put together, even though Kabaddi is the least talked about sports in India. Pepsi receives 41 per cent visible mentions with IPL, whereas 29 per cent associated with Hero Moto Corp with ISL.
Indian Cricket Team sponsorship price was reduced to Rs 20 million per match from Rs 33.3 million per match with the new sponsorship of Star India. Also, IPL 2014 team sponsorship money saw a dip in 2014 from Rs 2,750 million to Rs 2,537 million, because of the tournament partly shifting to the UAE. Other sports have also contributed in growth of team sponsorship and franchise fee due to the new sports league. While football registered a 227 per cent increase from Rs 265 million to Rs 603 million, powered principally by the ISL, it was the emergence of other leagues – notably IPTL, CTL, PKL, and WKL – that saw a spectacular 1064 per cent jump from Rs 70 million to Rs 745 million.
Social and search data depicts different trends for different leagues – while the popularity of IPL led the search and social data trends independent to each other; social and search data for the other leagues were almost parallel to each other.
There was a 14 per cent dip seen in overall sports celebrity endorsement, from Rs 3,822 million in 2013 to Rs 3,278 million in 2014. While the endorsement fees and number of endorsement brands of newer players such as Virat Kohli are going up steadily, for old boys like Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag, the number of endorsements and fee per endorsement have gone down considerably.
Commenting on the future of sports broadcasting in India, Thomas Abraham, Co-Founder, SportzPower, said, “Other sports are emerging gradually with the onset of many new league styled sport events. Even though FIFA was a big factor in the increase in TV spends in 2014, cricket dominated Indian sports TV broadcasting with back to back cricketing sports tournaments like the World Cup and IPL, although there was a rise in viewership of other sports too.”
All in all, in 2015 non-cricket sports are likely to expand on the lines of various trends all around. Live match content will repurpose in multiple ways to facilitate social consumption. Sports businesses will build strong grassroots engagement through experiential programmes. In stadium experience will be more social, more enhanced, as 70 per cent of fans bring a mobile device to the stadium or arena and will be expected to use it during the game.