Franchisees expect to end IPL-4 on a winning note

Our Bureaus May 27 | Updated on May 27, 2011

As IPL-4 draws to a close, despite the fact that TV viewership for the tournament has been lacklustre, the franchises, especially the older ones, are quite happy with the way the tournament has panned out.

The fourth edition of the tournament has proved to be financially rewarding for the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), which made it to the knockout stage for the first time. According to MD & and CEO, Mr Venky Mysore, revenues during the season so far have moved up by at least 30 per cent.

“It has been an excellent year for us. Our revenues from both sponsorships and ticket sales have gone up by nearly 30 per cent,” Mr Mysore told Business Line.

Break even

Mr Mysore added that the franchisee is yet to break even and expects to do so in the next season of the tournament.

India Cements, owners of the CSK, last year's winner and which has made it to the finals thrice, is the team which could well come out best from the tournament. Given that CSK is the top team in the league, it had raised the bar for sponsorships up four fold from last year. “We wanted only good and serious brands,” said Mr Rakesh Singh, marketing head, India Cements. Now, at the fag end of the event, Mr Singh told Business Line that revenues from ticket sales could well be up by 30 per cent and so could revenues from merchandise sales. The first edition of the comic book that CSK launched around the team was sold out and the second edition with a print run of 20,000 copies is on the way, he said.

More sponsors

Also, with more teams and more sponsors for IPL, the ten teams this year stand to gain more from the central pool of revenues from BCCI. CSK, Mr Singh said, lost money in the second season as the tournament was shifted to South Africa, broke even last year and this year it would be handsomely in the black.

Mr B. Vanchi, Director, GMR Sports which owns Delhi Daredevils, said, “We had a difficult season on the field. But, commercially we have done fairly well. Our sponsorship revenues were 20 per cent higher than last year and even ticket sales were slightly higher than IPL-3. Even on the last day when the match was unfortunately rained out, I think we had the highest ticket sales.” He added that the only disappointment was that the team will get lower revenues from the central IPL pool because the team failed to make it to the semi-finals.

Mr Sidhartha Mallya, Royal Challengers Sports Pvt Ltd, explains that RCB's performance has definitely had a positive impact on the team's fan following and gate receipts. “Gate receipts at our home games have always been exemplary over the last three years and the performance has only been an added advantage. From a fan following perspective we have seen a steady increase in numbers both on our Web site as well as on social media.”

Mr T. C. Mathew, Secretary of the Kerala Cricket Association, ascribed only 30-40 per cent success rate for the IPL season as far as Kochi Tuskers are concerned citing various reasons which included lack of interest shown by Kerala-based companies for sponsorship of the team and low merchandise sales. “The gate collections and sponsorships has not actually been to our expectations. Moreover, the franchisee was not able to sell the tickets in the proper way and for some of the matches the sales were far delayed into the final hours. During the last match, he said more than 10,000 people went back without getting tickets.

Referring to the sponsorship issues, he said there was some initial hiccups in the beginning as most of the companies in the State were of the view that Kochi Tuskers was a team from Gujarat, as most of the directors hailed from that State. The change of name from Indi Commandos to Kochi Tuskers also did not elicit the expected spurt in sponsorship support.

(With reports from bureaus in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Kochi)

Published on May 27, 2011

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