'We will get an opportunity to build our brand in the international arena of cricket' : Amrit Mathur - GMR Sports CEO

The drama over, it is back to business. As the Indian Premier League (IPL) takes refuge in South Africa to play out its second edition, the team owners are readying their new plans to size up their revenues.

GMR Sports, the owner of Delhi Daredevils, is trying to figure out how to make up for the revenue loss from ticketing sales. The spotlight is on sponsorship revenues.

In an interview with's Anushree Bhattacharyya, GMR Sports CEO Amrit Mathur talks about the opportunity that South Africa throws up in establishing the Delhi team franchise as a brand in the international arena of cricket.


GMR Sports was aiming at a 20 per cent revenue growth from sponsorship and ticketing. Now with IPL being shifted to South Africa, will that be achievable?

No, very unlikely. With ticketing revenues under pressure, it will be difficult to reach the target. Sponsorship will be the only avenue open for us to actually earn. Also, with the tournament moving out of the country, the business model in terms of cost and revenue sharing changes.

How does the revenue pattern shift dramatically?

Till last year, IPL was a tournament organised by the eight franchises. Out of the total 59 matches, 56 matches were run by the franchises while IPL organised the two semi-finals and the final. But for this year, all the matches will be organised by IPL and the BCCI. So unlike last year where each franchise was clear about the cost model, (for example, the franchise knew it was to organise seven matches and could size up the costs of organising them), it is all uncertain now of how much we as franchises have to bear.

We also don't know how the revenue will be shared this time. Till last year, we knew that the central pool contributes revenues of about Rs 320 million. Now it is possible that the IPL may add the ticket revenue to the central pool to share it with the franchises. So the revenue from central pool might increase this time. It will, thus, depend on the revenue share model the IPL finally decides upon.

Which are the areas where you feel the costs will increase for the franchises?

Since the franchises have been told that it would be a centrally managed tournament, the IPL is expected to bear all the costs. But the main cost will depend on the financial structure of the facilities being made available - including the ground, the infrastructure, availability of ground for practice, etc. Now IPL will have to discuss these arrangements with the South Africa cricket board and figure out the expenses. As owners of teams, we have an idea of what the games would have cost in India. But we have no idea of what it would be like outside. The cost of travel and the hotels will be relatively minor.

What if the IPL asks the franchises to bear a certain portion of the costs?

We will go by the consensus approach. We understand that it's an extraordinary situation. So if there is a cost attached to the tournament, I am sure everybody will sit together and find out a way.

On the sponsorship front, GMR Sports has roped in Coca-Cola, UB, Hero Honda, Religare, adidas and Kingfisher. What has been the progress on the two slots that are still lying vacant?

We are trying to close the last two sponsorship deals as soon as possible. However, the last couple of weeks had been uncertain and there were doubts about the tournament being played. Due to this, we had put on hold our talks with the sponsors. Now that the dates and venue have been announced, we are hoping that the interest for the property will revive.

'We are unlikely to reach our target of 20 per cent revenue growth this year. Ticketing revenues will be under pressure'

With the game shifting outside India, are sponsors looking at renegotiating their old deals?

No, not so far. We had signed sponsors for three years and there is further scope for extension. But at the same time, we are supposed to give them certain benefits. We are in constant negotiations with our sponsors and are open for any sort of dialogue.

With the broadcast partner yet to be finalised, how much of damage will that do to the business?

The audience is not really bothered about who the broadcast partner is. The main concern is whether the tournament is on or out. Now that we all know that it is in, things would start moving again.

Now that the IPL will be played in foreign land, does your marketing strategy go through a complete overhaul?

Well, it will change to a large extent. What we could do in terms of promoting our team in Delhi, we can definitely not carry out those activities outside India. So our marketing plans will change. We will now try to build our fan base even stronger with ticketing being handled by IPL. Moreover, we will promote our team through our media partners which include, SMS GupShup, Hindustan Times, Times of India and CNN-IBN.

Do you think the IPL will manage to gather enough loyalty in South Africa?

This year it is true that the character of the tournament has changed because it's no more a domestic league. The nature of loyalty will change. For example, Delhi Daredevils will miss its loyal Delhi fans. The team will play in venues like Durham or Johannesburg which might see an inflow of neutral crowd only interested in cricket as a sport. But then this is only for this year, as the schedule clashed with the Lok Sabha polls.

What would have been a better decision - no IPL or IPL in South Africa?

The most important thing is to have the IPL running. About hosting it in South Africa, the benefit is that the tournament and teams will get an international exposure. As team owners, we would get an opportunity to build our brand in the international arena of cricket.

Latest Reads
Disney expected to announce 21 CF buyout tomorrow: media reports

The Mouse House is closing in on the Fox. Media reports have emerged that Disney’s bid to acquire the Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox (21 CF Fox) group’s entertainment assets is near closure. The price being talked about is anywhere between $60 billion and $68 billion and an announcement is...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
World television premiere of Maragadha Naanayam on Zee Tamil

Zee Tamil announced the world television premiere of critically acclaimed Maragadha Naanayam – the fantasy-comedy-thriller film that features Aadhi Pinisetty and Nikki Galrani on Sunday, 17 December at 4:00 PM only on Zee Tamil. Written and directed by ARK Saravan, the movie is a perfect blend of...

Television TV Channels Regional
Republic TV to track real-time data for Gujarat elections

MUMBAI: Republic TV has partnered data-science company Gramener to track real-time data, along with analysis, during the Gujarat elections. According to a release sent by Republic TV, “Gramener will help enhance the visual look both on-air and on Republic’s digital platforms to present the data in...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Nakul Chopra is new BARC chairman

MUMBAI: Nakul Chopra, currently president of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and senior advisor of Publicis Communications, has been elected as the next chairman of BARC India. Chopra succeeds Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats, who has completed his one-year tenure as chairman.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Nitin Kukreja joins iQuest

Former Star India sports head Nitin Kukreja has joined iQuest Enterprises as its chief executive officer. Kukreja had left Star in March this year. IQuest is an enterprise of Nimmagadda Prasad, the former owner of the Maa TV group, who has multiple business interests ranging from infrastructure to...

Television TV Channels Sports
Sun TV's unassailable lead continues, while Zee TV leads Hindi across genre

BENGALURU: The Sun network's flagship Tamil general entertainment channel (GEC) Sun TV continued its lead in ratings across all GECs on Indian television for week 48 of 2017 (25 November to 1 December 2017) according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) weekly ratings data

Television TV Channels GECs
Republic TV, BTVI join hands for budget coverage

MUMBAI: Republic TV, spearheaded by Arnab Goswami, and Business Television India (BTVI) have entered into an alliance for content and programming around Union Budget 2018. The Republic TV- BTVI alliance promises to offer viewers a distinctive experience.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Mairu Gupta and the art of building the NBA in India

MUMBAI: For basketball fans worldwide, the US National Basketball Association (NBA) represents the mecca of the sport. But in India, the NBA has had its task cut out, what with cricket presenting a near impenetrable line of defence.

Television TV Channels Sports
CNN-News18 'Indian of the year' 2017 special Telecast on 9 and 10 December

MUMBAI: The awards night of the annual and flagship initiative of CNN-News18, ‘Indian of the Year – 2017’ will be telecasted on the 9 and 10 of December at 9:30 PM on the channel. The initiative, whichrecognizes and awards the exceptional contribution and achievements of the iconic Indian citizens...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories