Sports sponsorship crosses ₹9,000-crore mark in 2019

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 13, 2020

Industry growing at a healthy 17%

Suggested keywords: cricket, sports sponsorship, IPL, ICC World Cup, GroupM, ESP Properties

Although cricket has dominated sports advertising, the sports sponsorship industry crossed the ₹9,000-crore mark in 2019, with growth pegged at a healthy 17 per cent. Both IPL and the ICC World Cup gave a push to on-ground sponsorship and media spends, according to a report by ESP Properties, the entertainment and sports division of advertising major, GroupM.

On-ground sponsorship grew by 25 per cent, for the first time, crossing the ₹2,000-crore mark. The overall industry upsurge was ₹1,347 crore, of which ₹800 crore was contributed by media spends alone growing at 18 per cent.

Digital shot up by a whopping 84 per cent from ₹475 crore to ₹875 crore, according to the report. Though 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.

Digital tech at play

Engagement and interactivity were important elements of consumer marketing, with digital technology getting leveraged to give differentiated solutions to sports lovers. Last year also saw fantasy sports applications growing fast with advertisers, with the report noting this traction is expected to continue this year.

The BCCI home series deals saw double the jump in sports sponsorship amounts. At ₹2.59 crore per match, the three sponsors are to lay out 73 per cent more than the previous round.

Paytm’s bid was at 58 per cent incremental value in comparison to the previous per match value. Dream11, Lafarge Holcim (ACC Cement and Ambuja Cement) and Hyundai are the official sponsors for the next four years.

Breaking new ground

Vinit Karnik, Business Head, ESP Properties, said the Indian sports industry was on an upward trajectory, breaking new ground year-on-year.

“While cricket proved its dominance in 2019, overall, in the last five years, the industry has doubled its size. We can see a strong CAGR of 12.8 per cent in the business of sports over the last 10 years, making it one of the strong pillars of the Indian economy,” he added.

With the sports industry growing at 17 per cent in 2019, momentum got a boost with government initiatives like ‘Khelo India’ and ‘Fit India’.

Prasanth Kumar, CEO of GroupM South Asia, added that the last decade has seen the growth of sports leagues. “The sports industry has been growing and has witnessed a significant upward shift in overall ad spends. We see more and diverse audience indulging with this platform. Many innovations and leverage of assets in this space are powerful opportunities,” he said, adding the space would be a powerful thrust for greater brand stories.

Women power

The report showed that the non-cricketing space was dominated by women athletes. Badminton queen PV 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, who brought glory for India at international boxing events, also added four brands to her tally. Track and field sensation Hima Das and Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik also added to their tally of brands.

Published on March 13, 2020

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