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IPL has 86 million fans in India: Ormax Media study

IPL has 86 million fans in India: Ormax Media study

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MUMBAI: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is the IPL team with the biggest and most hardcore fanbase, a study by Ormax Media has revealed. With 26.8 million fans, the MS Dhoni-led CSK has emerged as the strongest franchise, as per the findings of the IPL Franchise Fans report, based on a research conducted among 3,200 urban respondents across 23 states in India. 

The data was collected over the course of the eight weeks of IPL 2020. The study pegs the number of fans across the eight IPL franchises at 86 million (8.6 crore). The study defines a franchise fan as someone who has a clear favourite team, is emotionally connected with it, watches its matches from start to finish, and discusses the team and its players online or offline.

Following in the wake of CSK is this season’s champion Mumbai Indians (MI) at 24.8 million devotees. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ranks third, with 13.3 million enthusiasts. Between them, these three franchises account for 75 per cent of the total fan base, while the remaining five contribute to the balance 25 per cent.

64 per cent (55 million) of the total franchise fans are males, while the balance 36 per cent (31 million) are females.

CSK and RCB have the most gender-balanced fan base, with the proportion of female fans being the highest at 40 per cent each. Nationwide popularity of their star players (MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli respectively) contributes to their stronger female fan base. Mumbai Indians leads Chennai Super Kings by a slender margin when it comes to the male fan base, but the latter takes the overall number one position because of its stronger female following.

Ormax Media founder & CEO Shailesh Kapoor said: “Apart from viewership, a definitive measure of the success of a sports league is whether the teams playing in it manage to build a sizeable fan base over the years. A strong fan base is eventually the key for a profitable franchise, because it offers higher monetisation opportunities through sponsorships, ticket sales, merchandising, licensing and other such avenues. Over the last 13 years, IPL has done very well, and the fan base estimates of the top two franchises suggest that they are now two of the strongest sports teams across the world. It’s for the other franchises to learn from the success story of CSK and MI and develop a strategy to widen their fan base in the coming years.”

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