Indian sports sponsorship grew by 17% to Rs 9k cr in 2019: GroupM’s ESP Properties

For the first time ever, on-ground sponsorship grew by 25 per cent to Rs 2000 cr last year.

MUMBAI: In 2019, the overall sports sponsorship industry grew by 17 per cent to Rs 9000 crore, says a report released by ESP Properties – the entertainment and sports division of GroupM India.

The 2020 report on sports sponsorship mentions that last year cricket dominated sports advertising sector grew unanimously due to International Cricket Council 2019 World Cup and IPL 2019. Both these events gave a major push in on-ground sponsorship and media spends.

For the first time ever, the on-ground sponsorship grew by 25 per cent to Rs 2000 crore. Whereas, the overall industry upsurge was Rs 1347 crore, of which Rs 800 crore was contributed by media spends alone with a growth of 18 per cent in 2019.

The report says, “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.”

The digital advertising in 2019 grew by 87 per cent to Rs 875 crore from Rs 475 crore. In this regard, the report points out that the engagement and interactivity are important elements of consumer marketing, and digital technology can be leveraged well to give differentiated solutions to sports lovers.

ESP Properties’ business head Vinit Karnik said: “Going forward, we see a strong CAGR of 12.8 per cent in the sports’ business over the last 10 years, making it one of the strong pillars of the Indian economy.”

Karnik expects, “With the sports industry growing at 17 per cent in 2019, the momentum on sports with added thrust from the government provides a holistic opportunity for the sector. Similarly, initiatives like Khelo India and Fit India movement are drivers towards making India a truly sporting nation.”

Meanwhile, GroupM South Asia’s chief executive officer Prasanth Kumar said, “The sports industry has been witnessing a significant upward shift in the overall ad spends. The passion and excitement that’s involved in this platform have only strengthened.”

He further added, “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.”

The report also mentions that the Board of Cricket Council of India (BCCI) saw double the jump in sports sponsorship amounts in the home series deals. Paytm’s bid stood at 58 per cent incremental value as compared to the previous per match value.

Dream11, Lafarge Holcim (ACC Cement and Ambuja Cement), Hyundai will be the official sponsors for the next four years. The three sponsors will layout 73 per cent to Rs 2.59 crore per match more than the previous round, the report added.

The endorsement industry grew by 11 per cent where cricketers contributed the most yet again validating the point that sports leagues and celebrity endorsements go hand in hand. At least 70 new brand endorsement deals happened in 2019 alone, of which 50 were done by cricketers.

While Indian skipper Virat Kohli has 85 per cent of total brand endorsements, MS Dhoni has bagged 63 per cent of the total endorsements. In all, 329 endorsement deals took place in 2019, of which 228 brands signed up with cricketers.

The non-cricketing space was dominated by women athletes, wherein Badminton player PV Sindhu was leading the athlete in 2019 in terms of brand endorsements. Sindhu added four brands to her portfolio, one of them was with VISA that made her first Indian athlete to endorse the financial services brand.

Mary Kom was another prominent name in the list of brand endorsers, who added four brands to her tally. Sprinter Hima Das and Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik had also marked their names in brand endorsements. In all, the women athletes added 11 new brands in 2019, taking up the tally to 45.

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