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Indian sports sponsorship industry crosses $1 billion mark, grows 14% in 2017: Report

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Indian sports sponsorship has witnessed a growth trajectory with the overall sports sponsorship growing by 14 percent in 2017 to Rs 7,300 crore from Rs 6,400 crore in 2016, led by media investments

According to a report released by ESP Properties, media spends on sports grew by 15.8 per cent from Rs 3,511 crore to Rs 4,065 crore.

Football showed a significant 64 percent increase in on ground sponsorship to Rs 179 crore from Rs 110 crore.

According to the fifth edition of ESP Properties (a GroupM company) and SportzPower report, ‘Sporting Nation in the Making’ report, Indian advertising expenditure in 2017 was Rs. 61,263 crores, and this report estimates 12% contribution to the overall ad spends are from sports sponsorship alone.

Sponsorship of non-cricketing sports grew in 2017, for instance, football grew by a considerable 64 percent.

India hosted its first ever FIFA U-17 World Cup that became the most attended in the history of the event. Attendance for this Football World Cup was a record 1,347,133, surpassing China’s 1985 audience of 1,230,976.

Two major events of title sponsorships of domestic leagues:

  • Hero MotoCorp renewed ISL Title Sponsorship till 2019 at 196 percent incremental value from previous year.
  • Vivo secured PKL Title Sponsorship for 5 years at 100 percent incremental value from right holder’s previous ask.

Additionally, ISL Sponsorship has increased by 22 percent from the previous year. The gap between Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and IPL TV ratings is narrowing – PKL delivered 1.5 TVR with 312 million reach and IPL delivered 2.7 TVR with 411 million.

2017 also saw the birth of five new franchise based leagues – Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), Super Boxing League (SBL), Super Fight League (SFL), Cue Slam, and P1 Power Boating.

Brands and endorsements:

  • Overall sports endorsements have de-grown by 17 percent, primarily due to Lionel Messi and Tiger Woods’s deals got over with Tata Motors and Hero MotoCorp.
  • Cricket endorsement has grown by 15.5 per cent.
  • Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli leading with 19 brands and over Rs 150 crore worth of endorsement value.
  • Badminton player PV Sindhu is leading the non-cricket endorsement space with 11 brands and over Rs 30 crore worth of endorsement value.
  • Cricketers got a total of 90 brands whereas non-cricket athletes got 78 brands endorsements.

“While demonetisation and GST hit overall ad expenditure in 2017, the sports sector has been able to ride the storm with a steady and positive trajectory. All major sporting leagues managed to bring on board sponsors at a 100 per cent or more incremental value for the title sponsorship. Specifically, the IPL has emerged as one of the top five most valuable global sports properties in the world,” the report further stated.

The IPL has emerged as one of the top five most valuable global sports properties in the world.

Commenting on the overall progress, Thomas Abraham, Co-Founder, SportzPower said, “With the 2017 momentum and the economy also looking up and set to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2018-19, sports is looking at an even bigger year. As the industry anticipates clarity on the structure of club football in India, among the new leagues on the horizon, volleyball seems the most promising. In the media firmament, while new revenue benchmarks are expected from television, it will be traction in the Digital arena that provides real pointers to where the industry is going over the next few years.”

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