Sports sponsorship surges to Rs 9,000 crore in India

Sports sponsorship in India grew a health 17 percent over a year before to Rs 9,000 crore in 2019, a report by ESP Properties said.

As expected, cricket dominated sports advertising, with the One-Day International World Cup and the Indian Premier League giving a push to on-ground sponsorship and media spending.   -  IPL

Sports sponsorship in India grew a health 17 percent over a year before to Rs 9,000 crore in 2019, a report by ESP Properties, the entertainment and sports division of media-buying agency GroupM India, said.

As expected, cricket dominated sports advertising, with the One-Day International World Cup and the Indian Premier League giving a push to on-ground sponsorship and media spending. On-ground sponsorship grew 25 percent and crossed Rs 2,000 crore in a year for the first time.

The endorsement industry grew 11 percent and was dominated by cricketers. In 2019, 70 new brand endorsement deals took place, of which 50 were cricketers. While 85 percent of total brand endorsements came from cricketers, Virat Kohli and M. S. Dhoni pulled in 63 percent of the total. A total of 329 endorsement deals were signed, of which 228 were for cricketers.

The non-cricketing space was dominated by women athletes. Badminton world champion P. V. Sindhu was the leading non-cricketing athlete in 2019 in terms of brand endorsements, adding four brands to her portfolio, the most notable being the tie-up with Visa Inc. that made her the first Indian athlete to endorse the financial services brand.

Boxer M. C. Mary Kom was another prominent name on the list of brand endorsers, adding four brands in 2019. Track and field star Hima Das and Olympic medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik, too, signed new brand.

Overall, women athletes added 11 new brands in 2019 to take the total to 45.

While television continued to be the biggest medium for ad spending in sports, the digital medium grew 84 percent year on year to Rs875 crore. Brands are building a clear digital plan along with a presence on TV to build a rapport with consumers by reaching out to them in more ways than one, the report said.

The year 2019 also saw fantasy sports applications growing fast as advertisers and this traction will be carried forward into 2020 with new experiences for Indian sports fans, according to the report.

“The Indian sports industry is on an upward trajectory breaking new grounds year on year. While cricket proved its dominance in 2019, overall in the last five years the industry has doubled its size. If we look further, we can see a strong CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 12.8 percent in the business of sports over the last 10 years, making it one of the strong pillars of the Indian economy,” said Vinit Karnik, ESP Properties’ business head.

“Over the last decade, we have witnessed the growth of sports leagues and their gaining popularity across the country... 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,” said Prasanth Kumar, chief executive officer of GroupM South Asia.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :