Wrestler Dutt earns more than Dhoni and Kohli!

India’s first ever sports salaries report published by a research services agency has unearthed some startling facts in the country.

India's wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt at the 2012 London Olympics.   -  PTI

Did you know that wrestling sensation Yogeshwar Dutt has India’s highest average of salary/minute, higher than even cricket stars M. S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli? Amazing facts like this were uncovered recently in the launch of India’s first ever sports salaries report published by research services agency Super Insight.

The recent times have seen various sports leagues spring up within the country. The Indian Premier League (IPL), which started the trend, was quickly followed by other leagues such as International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Indian Super League (ISL), Pro Wrestling League (PWL) and Premier Badminton League (PBL).

Super Insight's Indian sports salaries report has managed to look beyond the major ‘hotspots’ of sports in India such as Cricket and IPL to reflect more realistic patterns. The report also measures the success of each sport and athletes, in accordance with the TV viewership of the events.

On the launch, Raman Raheja, director, Super Insight said: “On the face of it, I feel that money spent on creating the content for each sport should be compared with the earning potential of the content. And that is how we could plan a way forward.

“With all these and more, we felt the need for a start of a new research initiative in the Business of Sports. One that has a strategic approach and can help in making direct comparisons amongst certain key drivers of growth. One that is just not about random numbers showing a mirage of trends,” said Raheja.

Since TV Ad rates play a vital factor in judging the success of any sports event, the report has also done an analysis which can be effectively used to measure the cost of creating one minute of content against the revenue generating potential in that one minute.

The study also looks beyond total payrolls or club wage bills and focuses more on what the players make per head against what they help generate for their employers.

The Social media reach is a relevant tool adopted to measure the cost benefit analysis for the franchisees and clubs to measure the return on investments made in buying the players.

To everyone’s surprise India’s Yogeshwar Dutt earned 1.65 Lakhs/minute in Pro Wrestling League, which is India’s highest average salary/minute, even more than cricketers M. S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli. The wrestler is No.7 in the list of players across the world whose average was determined by the salary/minute parameter. The only cricketer to feature in the top 20 is Yuvraj Singh, who earned 1.01 Lakhs/minute in 2015 during the IPL. He ranked No.17th on the list.

Some key facts:

- Rs.1100 crores budgeted for player salaries in 8 leagues. This was 75% of the India’s sports budget for 2015. Rs.823 crores was spent on players’ salaries. Indians account for only 36% of this.

- Cricketers are not the highest paid sports persons playing in the Indian Leagues.

- Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, highest earners in India, earn double of what Virat Kohli and M. S. Dhoni earn playing Indian leagues. Andy Murray earns INR 14.34 lacs per minute for playing in IPTL

- Roger Federer’s salary is the same as the salaries of all hockey players combined.

- Yogeshwar Dutt is the highest paid Indian at No. 7 with an earning of INR 1.65 lacs per minute for playing in Pro Wrestling League.

- Yuvraj Singh is the highest paid cricketer at No. 17 when he earned INR 1.01 lacs per minute in 2015.

- Indian players rank 36 on the average pay out amongst the players from 73 countries playing in Indian Leagues

- Average salary to Indian players is 25 times less than the highest average salary.

- With 203 players playing the ISL, it is the biggest employment platform in sheer numbers.

- Highest paid footballer in ISL earns Rs.4.8 crores and is ranked 38th amongst the top earning players playing in the leagues.

- Pro Kabaddi has claimed to be the second most watched sporting league in India but the League is the least spender on player pool with a total spend of about Rs.6.2 crores ($1M).

- Royal Challengers Bangalore of IPL is the biggest spending franchise with Rs.63.5 crores ($10M) closely followed by the Indian Aces of IPTL with Rs.63.36 crores.

- 426 million followers is the cumulative social media reach of the Leagues and players.

- Virat Kohli leads the Social media reach amongst all the players with 33 million fans. Virender Sehwag has the most cost effective reach amongst the Cricketers.

- Maria Sharapova is the most followed woman sportsperson playing in Indian Leagues.

- IPL has the widest fan-base amongst all the Leagues with a reach of more than 20 million fans.